In Andrew & Tiffany Doe v HMRC [2022] UKUT00002, the Upper Tribunal (UT) endorsed the FTT decision that a residential property purchase did not represent the purchase of two separate dwellings on which Multiple Dwelling Relief (MDR) for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) could be claimed. The taxpayer's appeal was dismissed.

  • The appellants purchased a property in August 2017 for £2.7m.
  • An SDLT return was filed and SDLT paid to total £237,750.
  • An amended SDLT return was submitted on 9 March 2018 claiming MDR resulting in a refund of £80,250.
  • Draft but incomplete documents were provided to HMRC supporting the claim by 12 June 2018.
  • Original documents were requested by HMRC and provided on 3 July 2018.
  • HMRC raised an enquiry on 28 March 2019 and issued closure notices denying MDR.
  • The appellants appealed to the FTT contending the enquiry had not been opened in time and that MDR should be available.

In respect of the Enquiry time limits the FTT found that:

  • The nine-month enquiry window ran from the date HMRC received copies of the signed, rather than the draft, documents.

The enquiry was raised in time and the appeal on this point was dismissed.

In respect of the MDR claim the FTT dismissed the appeal finding that:

  • The suitability of the annexe was to be adjudged at the date of completion and from the perspective of a reasonable person observing the physical attributes of the property at that time.
  • The annexe provided the facilities to accommodate the living needs of the occupant (a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom).
  • The annexe was on the first floor of the main property which was spread over three floors.
  • The annexe was only accessible through the main house, although it did have locked doors and a separate doorbell.
  • Given the access arrangements, the main house and the annexe did not give its occupants sufficient privacy and security to be classed as two dwellings.

The UT dismissed the taxpayers' appeal on the availability of MDR as:

  • Historical use of the property did not determine suitability for use at the date of completion.
  • The FTT was entitled to make its decision based on the facts that were in front of it, there was no error in law.
  • There was insufficient privacy between different parts of the property for a wide range of occupants. That the FTT included reference to an example that included a specific type of occupant did not render its decision flawed.

Useful guides on this topic

SDLT: Annexe not a separate dwelling
In Andrew & Tiffany Doe v HMRC [2021] TC08003, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) dismissed the appellants appeal against an HMRC closure notice denying Multiple Dwellings Relief (MDR) on the purchase of a property with annexe.  The FTT also concluded the HMRC enquiry had been raised within the required time limits.

SDLT: MDR & Annexes Tool
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) Tool, if you are buying two or more properties in a single transaction use this tool to see if you meet the qualifying conditions and you may be able to claim both Multiple Dwellings Relief and relief from the Higher Rate Charge.

SDLT: Multiple Dwelling Relief and annexes
What is Multiple Dwellings Relief (MDR)? When does it apply and how is it claimed?

SDLT: Residential property & dwellings
What is residential property for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)? What tax rate applies?

SDLT: At a glance, Stamp Duty Land Tax, rates & allowances
What is Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)? What are the rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)?

External links

Andrew & Tiffany Doe v HMRC [2022] UKUT00002


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