Introduction To The Stamp Duty Refund Claim Process
Stamp duty refunds can be claimed from HMRC for a number of things, with the main ones being for:
(1) a stamp duty refund of the 3% higher rates which apply when a main residence is bought before the old one is sold;
(2) a stamp duty refund of the 2% non-UK resident surcharge once the individual buyer becomes UK resident; and
(3) a stamp duty refund when a claim for multiple dwellings relief is made after the purchase of two or more dwellings.
Buyers also apply for a stamp duty refund when they reassess the property they have recently purchased as either mixed residential and non-residential or as uninhabitable, in each case leading to a refund of the excess SDLT paid on the purchase at full residential rates of stamp duty.
What is the Stamp Duty Refund Claim Process?
Generally, the process for claiming a stamp duty refund is that you have 12 months from the 14th day after the effective date of the land transaction to apply for an SDLT refund claim to HMRC. Still, you can also make an overpayment relief claim within four years in certain limited situations.
Most stamp duty refund claims must be made by post to BT Stamp Duty Land Tax, HM Revenue and Customs, BX9 1HD. A claim for a refund of the 3% higher rates can, however, be commenced online here and a claim for repayment of the 2% non-UK resident surcharge can be made here.
How long does it take for HMRC to refund stamp duty?
Under the stamp duty land tax refund process, HMRC operates a “process now/check later” approach to refunds and this means that unless there is something incorrect with the refund claim, HMRC will automatically make the refund within a period of several weeks after receiving the claim.
This only applies to refund claims made within the 12-month return amendment period, though and overpayment claims that rely on the longer four-year period for such claims will be referred to specialists for assessment before any refund is paid.
What happens if my stamp duty refund claim isn’t successful?
If your refund claim is refused, you will be told why and given 30 days to write to HMRC to give notice of appeal against HMRC’s decision to refuse the refund.
What happens if HMRC finds that I’m not entitled to my claim at a later date?
The stamp duty refund process is that HMRC has nine months from the date that the refund claim was made to them to open a detailed check into it and then ask for the money back with interest if they think that the refund was not properly due. There is also a risk of a penalty if the refund claim was made without a reasonable basis for making it.
As a barrister in independent practice who is authorised to accept instructions direct from members of the public, I can review your potential SDLT refund claim and offer you objective advice based on my extensive experience in representing clients before the tax tribunals in cases concerning SDLT refunds.
If my advice is positive, I can make the refund claim for you, and any refund will be paid by HMRC in full directly into your bank account. I work on the basis of fixed fees agreed upon upfront so that you have certainty about the cost, and I have no financial incentive to put in a speculative claim. My ideal client is a person who understands the importance of obtaining objective advice before making a claim. The old adage that free advice is worth your price is as true here as in other areas.