Stamp Duty Land Tax was created by Finance Act 2003. It was meant to bring simplicity to an area which had become stuffed with reliefs, exemptions and different treatments. Initially it worked but in the following 15 years the situation has become muddied once more.
Rufus & George – Tax & Reclaims exist because Stamp Duty Land Tax is fiendishly complicated and certainty is difficult to come by.
The work we do falls into 2 main areas:
- We claim back overpaid SDLT for historic transactions completed in the last 4 years. We generally work on transactions over £1.5 million in value.
- We ensure that clients pay the correct amount of SDLT on new transactions and no more. This is pure advice; we do not do “schemes”.
For a property buyer the appropriate reaction to this is to seek advice but, because their solicitor tells them how much Stamp Duty to pay they assume that they have taken advice.
The solicitor on the other hand will have sought an answer from the Stamp Duty Calculator on HMRC’s website. Their use of the calculator is generally based on 2 faulty assumptions:
- That only commercial property qualifies for a mixed use Stamp Duty rate of 2 and 5%.
- That if you’re buying a property to live in you pay residential rates of 2, 5, 10 and 12% regardless of the true nature of what is being bought.
Most of our work consists of correcting this fault in the system.
On a £1.5 million transaction mixed-use rates offer a saving of £20,000 including fees. Solicitors should be able to do this for you but they are usually un-willing to give the advice. This is entirely reasonable.
We on the other hand, will give the advice. The advice is insured by a £1 million PI policy and is given by a qualified tax advisor. We de-risk the transaction from an SDLT perspective.
This is good for everyone:
- The Buyer – they know they are paying the right amount of SDLT and no more.
- The Solicitor – they do not have to risk their PI by giving advice in an area they are not insured for.
- The Agent – in a market where even stock in good areas are taking 90 days to sell a mixed-use SDLT finding is a valuable sales tool
If you would like us to review any historic transactions or require advice on any new transactions please do get in touch. We will happily work with buyers, agents and solicitors.