Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) issues can arise in numerous business and personal situations. Many of these potential complications flow from the piecemeal nature of the legislation, which can result in unexpected SDLT charges.

Occasionally, however, such irregularities can be legitimately harnessed to the tax payer’s advantage.

Birketts’ Tax Team has a strong track record of advising in relation to SDLT; ensuring that SDLT issues are considered and, if possible, mitigated at an early stage.

Recent activity

SDLT has kept the team fully occupied in the last few months as recent changes have impacted on a variety of clients, whilst regular queries continued to flow in. Unsurprisingly, much of the advice given relates to the application of the new higher rate of SDLT to residential transactions. For example, we have considered:

  • the impact on developers
  • the interpretation of the transitional rules in the context of a necessary contractual change
  • the complication of purchasing a house with an annex and the subsequent clarification of the position
  • what falls within (or, more importantly, outside) the definition of residential property
  • how the new rules affect family breakdowns
  • the differing rules for various trusts and beneficiaries.

In addition we have also:

  • advised how the SDLT partnership rules interact with group relief
  • considered how the SDLT partnership rules apply to trustee partners on the transfer of land into and out of a family partnership
  • agreed with HMRC that SDLT charities relief could be utilised in an unusual situation that potentially fell outside the conditions for the relief.

Why instruct experts?

Ultimately, we aim to provide responsive and commercial advice in a flexible manner to meet your specific requirements.

SDLT is often excluded from the scope of any advice provided by accountants and, in many cases, it is the law firm involved who provides such SDLT guidance. Not all law firms are well placed to advise on complex and technical SDLT matters and, even if our Property Teams are not involved, we would be very happy to discuss whether it would be appropriate to involve us to work alongside existing advisers.

If you have any queries or wish to discuss SDLT issues, please do not hesitate to contact Karl Pocock on 01603 756544 or by email [email protected].

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