Stamp Duty Land Tax: changes to the filing and payment process

The Government announced at Autumn Statement 2015 that it intended to:

  • reduce the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) filing and payment window from 30 days to 14 days in 2017 to 2018
  • consult on the SDLT filing and payment process in 2016

The aim of these proposals was to improve the filing process, thereby increasing efficiency, and to reduce the compliance burden and costs for both HMRC and customers. A consultation was published, seeking views on proposed changes, their design and implementation.

This consultation has now closed and HMRC has published a summary of responses. In response to concerns about the 14-day filing time limit, the Government has delayed the commencement in order to make it easier to comply with obligations in respect of complex commercial transactions. Implementation will now not be before April 2018.

SDLT is chargeable on acquisitions of land in England, Wales and Northern Ireland although charities are granted relief where land is held for qualifying charitable purpose. Charities need to be aware of the potential SDLT liabilities where the entire land/building is not to be retained for charitable purposes. There is no partial exemption from SDLT: the transaction is either fully exempt or fully chargeable. Further information is available here.