Home Forums Patrick Cannon How do I respond to an SDLT discovery assessment?

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  • #629 Reply

    Hi, we have recently been sent an HMRC discovery assessment with regards to a SDLT mitigation scheme we used in Nov 2009, we do not have the required details that the discovery assessment is asking for and have been in contact with our conveyancers/legal teams who structured the transaction. The documentation that we signed giving authority to create the transaction and pay fees to said company is all we have. What would you recommend our initial response should be to HMRC given there 30-day response limit and unlikely response from above parties.

    #630 Reply

    Unless you wish to concede and pay the tax you need to put in a notice of appeal and request to postpone payment of the tax within the 30 day deadline. HMRC will then give you time to collate the information requested. I suggest that you consult a solicitor or accountant experienced in tax to assist and advise you further in this.

    #631 Reply

    Hi, Ian. Like you I have received an assessment re. A scheme I used in November 2009. I wonder you have fared in challenging it etc as I am unsure as what to do?

    #632 Reply
    David Hannah

    I can only echo what Patrick said. You do need to put in a notice of appeal and postponement for the tax before getting hold of an experienced accountant or solicitor to assist you in:

    (a) assessing the position with regard to previous disclosure of the planning; and/or

    (b) assembling the papers to support the original planning undertaken.

    Once this has been done the accountant/solicitor should be able to advise you as to the probability of succeeding with a challenge given HMRC’s current attitudes and case law status etc. It has been my experience that very few SDLT schemes have been properly disclosed to HMRC at the time they were carried out i.e. with a disclosure letter or note attached to the return and this may well prejudice your position, but it is worth having a look.

    Some accountants and solicitors will offer a fixed fee for an initial review and an outline of your options. It is also worthy of note that, in about 3-5% of all cases, the discovery assessments themselves have been issued incorrectly and are capable of being overturned on a technicality.

    #633 Reply

    Hi Ian/Liam

    I’m interested to know how you faired with HMRC as I’m seriously considering going down the same route.

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