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Developer Stamp Duty and Land Tax (SDLT)
We advise on Property Developer SDLT Reclaims

Referred to as the SDLT or Stamp Duty Land Tax, it is a tax paid by buyers of land or a property based on the property's value. It is a self-assessed tax introduced as a replacement to the old Stamp Duty Tax in 2003. This tax law has been one of the most amended legislation in the UK.
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The Stamp Duty tax is paid to the HMRC after assessing the property's value and calculating the due tax amount. SDLT is a complex and misunderstood tax law, so overpaid SDLT taxes are not uncommon among individuals, investors, and developers. Moreover, most people engage the services of solicitors to help them complete the SDLT returns on their behalf. Since 20% of all SDLT tax is filed incorrectly, millions of pounds in overpaid SDLT is wrongly remitted to the HMRC. This excess amount can be reclaimed from the HMRC by showing the necessary documentation.

How do I know if the Property Will Qualify for a Refund?

As a developer, if you are not sure whether the property you have bought will qualify for a refund, the following pointer will steer you in the right direction.

  • Was the land purchased with the planning permission, which allows the construction and development of residential housing?
  • Was the office building purchased with permission for converting into residential housing?
  • Was the commercial property purchased along with residential space? Was it bought along with mixed-use land? (Having both commercial and non-commercial elements in the land).
Stamp Duty Land Tax

There are other considerations as well. Some are:

Does the property have?

  • Community gardens
  • Public open areas
  • Water pumps or substations
  • Woodland or agricultural land
  • Forest areas
  • Car parks and more

Property Obligations of a Property Developer

The planning authority usually requires the developer to provide basic facilities for the community, such as a school or a park, to give planning permission. It is called 'property planning obligations.'

Once the developer keeps his side of the obligation by constructing the building or developing the park, he hands over the same to the concerned authorities to run. Suppose the developer buys the property from its original owner. In that case, he is liable to pay SDLT on the property and again when the developer transfers the finished building to the concerned authorities. So, the developer is likely to pay the SDLT twice. To avoid paying the SDLT twice, the developer can claim relief so that the developer need not pay the stamp duty tax on the first sale.

Relief and Exemptions for Property Developers

Developers purchasing residential and commercial property or entirely commercial buildings can avail of SDLT tax relief. Mixed-use properties provide the highest tax relief for developers. If the property has any commercial element, it will be taxed with lower stamp duty.

A mixed-use property could include shops, residential buildings with commercial aspects, solar installations, or animal grazing lands. Multiple dwelling properties also offer significant stamp duty savings.

Seeking Help from Tax Consultants and Experts

Stamp duty land tax is one of the most complex tax laws that are being continuously amended. As this is a self-assessment tax, it becomes quite challenging for taxpayers to calculate their due tax accurately. Moreover, the tax calculator provided by the HMRC on their website acts merely as a general guide. So, it becomes crucial for taxpayers to contact solicitors or tax consultants to pay the correct stamp duty tax amount to the HMRC and avail all the reliefs and exemptions provided to them by the law.

Wrapping Up

If you think you might have overpaid the stamp duty tax amount or that you are eligible to reclaim the overpaid tax amount, you should contact a reputed and experienced tax expert or a solicitor to help you out with filling and reclaiming the excess amount.

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