It’s no surprise that, in light of relatively recent case law regarding the availability of significant tax savings in the form of non-residential rates of SDLT, and multiple dwellings relief claims, that there are sharks awaiting the unsuspecting.
By Phil Kinzett-Evans – Tax Director
I am referring to the practices of a substantial number of boutiques who fire off general mailshots to purchasers of UK property to advise them that they could be ‘owed’ a refund by HMRC, or could save tens of thousands in SDLT- typically based on something like: ‘if your purchased property has no kitchen’, or ‘your property has a low EPC rating’.
The truth of the matter is that these issues may be indicative of a larger problem which, with proper assessment, might enable a purchaser to compute their SDLT liability on a different basis, or claim a relief from SDLT which reduces their overall liability. But in the absence of a full, proper assessment of ALL the facts, these are not substantive enough alone to give rise to such savings or adjustments.
If you have received such a letter then there is no harm in carrying out a free, no-obligation review, if it is just that. But if you feel it is all too easy, sounds too good to be true and you would like a professional opinion from a regulated firm, then we would urge you to contact one of our experts.
It is a matter of professional ethics that a claim for tax relief should not be exaggerated, embellished, or misstated, and our teams would never knowingly assist in a claim they did not feel would stand up to scrutiny.
UHY Ross Brooke’s tax team, led by me, advises on Stamp Duty Land Tax matters locally and nationally.
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- Property purchase is completed (“the effective date”)
- Up to 14 days later: Purchaser/agent eg solicitor must file SDLT return and make payment
- Up to 9 months after the filing date, or the date of subsequent amendment: HMRC can make an enquiry into the claim.
- Overpayment relief can be claimed where SDLT has been paid incorrectly, for example, if the surcharge rate of SDLT was paid and this was not due then a claim can be made within 4 years of the effective date. This does not apply where a claim for relief was not made in a return, but applies where the SDLT was computed incorrectly on some other basis.
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