HMRC have just published their Stamp Taxes news for October. This is our enhanced and extended version.

COVID-19 measures

1. Temporary reduction in Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rates

The nil rate band threshold for SDLT on residential property in England and Northern Ireland is £125,000. 

Between 8 July 2020 and 31 March 2021 a temporary reduced rate applies due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

See Summer Economic Update 2020: Temporary SDLT reduction and Stamp Duty Land Tax: Rates and Reliefs 

2. Higher rate SDLT and exceptional circumstances

If a new dwelling is intended to replace a main residence which has not yet been sold, the higher rates still apply.

The SDLT surcharge will be refunded if the former main residence is sold within 36 months or a longer period if there are exceptional circumstances.

See SDLT: Residential property higher rates


Additional SDLT 2% Charge for Non-UK Residents  

From 1 April 2021, it is proposed that there will be a 2% surcharge the rate of SDLT paid by non-UK residents purchasing residential property in England and Northern Ireland.

There are some useful exceptions:

See Non-residents SDLT Surcharge proposals

SDLT new relief from the higher rates

From 11 March 2020 it is proposed:

Amendments to SDLT returns; common errors

Rather worryingly, HMRC says it receives "a large number of requests from agents, following the submission of a return, for some of the most important aspects to be amended".

HMRC recommends that if the error on the return changes the underlying identity of the purchaser or the property, or that effectively needs to be changed so that it is after the date of notification you must:

By way of an editorial note, we say 'rather worryingly' at the start of this piece as it seems odd if any UK or EU agents do not know the identity of a purchaser, as normally they are charging their client a fee and so must have some details on file, with a contract or letter of engagement. Any estate or legal agent should have already completed their Anti-Money Laundering risk assessment of their client and should be capable of returning the correct identity of the purchaser for the purposes of the SDLT return. 

See SDLT: Amending returns

Stamp Taxes: Shares

What is a body corporate for group relief?

We note, that curiously, this list does not appear to align to the list of opaque entities provided in HMRC’s international manual INTM180030.

See Groups: at a glance 

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) notes on conveyancing (for clients' attention)

The person who is engaged to do your legal conveyancing may file your SDLT return, do not assume that they will assist you in Capital Gains Tax (CGT) reporting or advise you on CGT or any other tax matter. Your accountant or tax adviser will normally be the one who has access to the data on CGT.

Reporting & CGT payment for property disposal

From 6 April 2020, the deadlines for both filing and paying Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the disposal of UK property change.

There are different rules for UK residents and for non-UK residents.

A new online service allowing UK and Non-UK residents to report and pay any CGT liability following the disposal of a UK property as defined above became available from 6 April 2020.

See CGT: Payment of tax

Amending 30-day CGT returns

CGT new reporting: Late filing and payment penalties

Late filing penalties now apply to those who fail to notify HMRC about a disposal or pay the tax due within 30 days from the date of completion.

External link

HMRC Stamp Taxes Newsletter October 2020