Is SDLT payable on an in-specie contribution of a commercial property into a director’s self invested pension plan?

Home Forums Patrick Cannon Is SDLT payable on an in-specie contribution of a commercial property into a director’s self invested pension plan?

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    Sailesh Shah
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    We have a family trading company which wishes to make an in-specie contribution of a commercial property into the directors self invested pension plans. The property is unencumbered. Will stamp duty be payable? The HMRC manuals suggest that in specie contributions are not allowed but instead the employers agrees to pay a monetary contribution and thereafter settle this debt by way of a transfer of an asset/assets.

    #546 Reply
    David Hannah
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    Silesh,

    This is an interesting situation ? logic says that if you pay no money for a property then you should not pay SDLT. However because the Pensions Act demands that qualifying contribution be ?paid? HMRC take the view that the contribution of property in specie as a qualifying contribution is in satisfaction of a ?debt? and as a result SDLT is payable. I have had considerable correspondence with them on this because the only reason that this notional debt is set up is to make the contribution qualifying owing to a drafting error in the Pension Reforms legislation but, quite naturally, HMRC are not going to budge on this even though this fudge by Pension Schemes Office to allow contributions in specie to be made because of an error in the drafting of a Parliamentary Act has led to a tax upside for them! It is not a position I actually agree with but, until policy acknowledge that they are raising taxes merely to cover poor Parliamentary drafting and as such their contributions in specie should be specifically exempted from SDLT, they are going to carry on taxing moving property from ?one pocket to another?.

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