Why are homebuyers overpaying on Stamp Duty?

Why are homebuyers overpaying on Stamp Duty?

Overpaying Stamp Duty is more common than you might think. This happens for a number of reasons, including:

  • too little information provided by HMRC
  • poorly designed Stamp Duty Land Tax calculators
  • a lack of understanding of Stamp Duty legislation, exceptions and updates by both homebuyers and their solicitors or accountants.

Stamp Duty taxes are just that: taxes. They call for an expert tax advisor to ensure that individuals aren’t missing any reliefs and that the correct payments are made. There are many details that go into accurately calculating your SDLT liability, and they can reduce your tax liability significantly. 

Legislation around SDLT is also subject to many changes and it can be hard for property professionals, let alone the general public, to keep up with the changing complexities.

Some individuals may choose to rely on an SDLT calculator to determine liabilities, however many of these have serious shortcomings. Even  HMRC has warned that their own calculator should only be used as a “guide”.

If you think you may have overpaid Stamp Duty on your residential purchase, Patrick Cannon can assist you by advising on how to make a refund claim to HMRC and if necessary, appealing an HMRC decision on your behalf. Unlike many law firms who specialise in this area, Patrick Cannon gives clear advice and instead of charging a percentage of the tax saved, he can if you wish, charge an agreed-upon fixed fee upfront.

Does my home qualify?

Homes with “granny annexes” or additional dwellings in one property may attract the additional 3% rates for second homes. However in many cases it will be possible to exclude the 3% rates but also claim a reduction in SDLT using multiple dwellings relief.

Annexes

Does your property have a ‘granny annex’ or separate living accommodation? If so, you could qualify for multiple dwellings tax relief.

Land and Fields

If your property has agricultural land attached to it it may qualify for “mixed-use” SDLT rates which can significantly reduce your liability.

Outbuildings

Does your land have barns, or other agricultural buildings as part of your purchase? Under the “mixed-use” SDLT rates, you could save substantial amounts.

Woodlands

Have you bought a residential property with forestry land or woodlands included with the property? If so, you may be able to claim that the purchase is “mixed-use” and so reduce the  SDLT.

How far back do SDLT Refunds go?

Generally, you can claim a Stamp Duty refund within 12 months of the filing date for the SDLT tax return. However, this may be extended depending on the circumstances.

If you are selling your previous main residence within 3 years of buying your replacement main residence, you have 12 months from the date of the sale to claim a refund of the 3% surcharge.

What is the minimum purchase price for a home that might be due a refund?

There is no minimum price – for example, someone paying a 3% surcharge on a property costing £300,000 will have overpaid SDLT by £9,000. 

Regardless of your purchase price, if you believe you have overpaid SDLT on your property, please get in touch with us today.

How long will a Stamp Duty Refund take?

HMRC usually aims to process all refunds within 15 working days of the application, but the process can sometimes take up to 35 working days.

SDLT Refunds: Make Your Claim

Patrick Cannon has worked with clients nationally and internationally to ensure that homebuyers are paying the correct amount of SDLT. 

If you are about to complete a home purchase, or if you have recently purchased a home in the last 12 months and you think you might be due a refund, please do not hesitate to get in touch to get started resolving any Stamp Duty Land Tax overpayment.

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