The Stamp Duty Land Tax rules are complex and the implications of getting them wrong can be significant.

We at Moore Kingston Smith have the knowledge and experience needed to provide our clients – including individuals, businesses, or other professional advisors working on their own client’s affairs – with the advice they need in this difficult area.

We can help by:

  • Analysing the SDLT implications of specific transactions;
  • Providing advice on how SDLT liabilities might be reduced, for example by making claims in accordance with the legislation;
  • Seeking SDLT repayments, for example by amending SDLT returns to make claims (typically within 12 months of the filing date for the original SDLT return) or by requesting relief for overpaid SDLT (which may be possible within 4 years of the date of the property transaction).
  • Structuring land transactions so they meet commercial objectives and do not give rise to any unnecessary SDLT (or other tax) liabilities

Some of the areas where we have most frequently been able to assist our clients are as follows:

Residential or non-residential property

In almost all cases, the SDLT payable on the purchase of purely residential property is higher than the SDLT that would be payable on the purchase – for the same consideration – of non-residential property, or of a combination of residential and non-residential property. Identifying whether or not any non-residential property is included in a transaction can therefore have significant implications for the SDLT liability.

Multiple dwellings

In a residential property transaction, it will often be important to ascertain exactly how many dwellings are being purchased (which might not always be straightforward) and then to review and consider the following aspects of the SDLT rules:

  • Where the transaction relates to six or more dwellings, the non-residential SDLT rates and bands will automatically apply;
  • In any transaction of more than one dwelling, a claim for “Multiple Dwellings Relief” should be possible, and this can result in significant savings.

Higher rates of SDLT for additional residential properties

Since 2016 the SDLT rates that have applied where individuals purchase “additional” residential properties have been 3% higher than the standard residential rates of SDLT. We regularly advise clients on whether these higher rates of SDLT apply, taking into account factors such as the exemption for a replacement of the purchaser’s only or main residence, and the exemption for “subsidiary dwellings” (such as granny annexes).

Please get in touch if we may be able to assist you with any SDLT matter.

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