HMRC can issue Stamp Duty Land Tax penalties for late filing of SDLT returns, for inaccuracies in your return or for failing to keep adequate records.

If you are facing an SDLT penalty, you may be able to appeal against a stamp duty penalty.

What happens if stamp duty is not paid on time?

You must pay any SDLT due within 14 days of the date of transaction on a purchase of property in England and Northern Ireland. If you fail to pay it on time, you will pay interest on the amount from the day after you should have paid it.

Can you defer the payment of stamp duty?

HMRC does not accept deferment or partial payments of SDLT except in relation to contingent or unascertained consideration.

What is the penalty for late payment of stamp duty?

You are fined a fixed penalty or £100 if you file your return (and payment) up to 3 months after the due date and £200 for a return filed after the 3-month date.

You will also have to pay interest on the SDLT owed from the day you should have paid it until it is paid.

If you do not file a return within 12 months of the purchase, you will have to pay a tax-based penalty, which could see you paying double the original amount of SDLT.

Can you appeal against an SDLT penalty?

Appeals can be made against a late filing penalty. They need to show a reasonable excuse: ie prove an unforeseeable event beyond your control prevented you or someone else from filing the return. Examples include:

  • Lost or delayed in the post
  • Industrial action
  • Death or debilitating illness of advisor
  • Software or technical failure
  • Coronavirus

You also need to prove that you did everything in your power to file the return in good time as soon as possible after the event.

HMRC states that you cannot appeal against the interest charged on a late payment. However, if you can prove that HMRC’s actions caused late payment, you may be able to avoid payment of the interest and the penalty.

When can you file an appeal against an SDLT penalty?

Appeals must be filed within 30 days of the date of the original penalty notice.

How Can Patrick Cannon Help?

If you have been served with an SDLT penalty from HMRC for a property or land transaction, you may be able to appeal. Time is of the essence, as you have just 30 days to file your appeal.

Patrick Cannon can offer you expert advice, file your appeal for you and manage any further correspondence with HMRC. Patrick can also take a further appeal to the tax tribunal, amend your return if you have made a genuine mistake, and ensure that you are not being overcharged for your late filing.

For more information or to make an appointment, contact SDLT barrister Patrick Cannon here.

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For professional and insurance reasons Patrick is unable to offer any advice until he has been formally instructed.