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stamp duty land tax (SDLT): revised HMRC challenge to scheme transactions

21 March 2011

HMRC have recently published revised guidance on the SDLT anti avoidance rules, set out in section 75A Finance Act 2003. This legislation can catch SDLT saving schemes which involve more than one step or transaction, and which try to reduce the overall amount of SDLT payable as a result.

The new guidance sets out further examples which HMRC think will be caught by the legislation, updating their previous guidance. This can potentially catch a series of transactions which are not specifically intended to avoid SDLT, and so if you are putting together a series of steps in one overall property transaction, you should take note.

Their updated guidance shows HMRC’s increasing concern with SDLT avoidance schemes. A Tribunal decision on a challenge by HMRC to an SDLT scheme involving sub-sale and partnership reliefs is also due soon. If HMRC are successful in their challenge, expect further clampdown on SDLT schemes inside and outside of the courts.

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