Stamp Duty Land Tax is a self-assessed tax charged on some property transactions. An SDLT return must be filed within 14 days of completion of a notifiable transaction. For a tax which is left to individuals and businesses to calculate in relation to property transactions that in most cases they won’t participate in regularly, it is particularly complicated and easy to get wrong. An SDLT return is normally prepared by the solicitors acting for a purchaser or tenant and filed by the solicitor on their behalf.

There are a number of reliefs that can apply to reduce the amount of tax payable. Where a return is filed and tax is paid but it is later found that an error was made there is 12 months from the filing date to amend the SDLT return, even if HMRC have started its own enquiry into the accuracy of a return.

Even after 12 months, whilst amendments to the SDLT return might not be possible, a buyer/tenant who has overpaid SDLT may still be able to claim a refund if a mistake was made resulting in too much SDLT having been paid.

Where a transaction has been particularly complicated or where there is any suspicion that an available SDLT relief might not have been claimed it is prudent to ask an accountant or solicitor to review an SDLT return to check it has been filed correctly. If for any reason an overpayment cannot be reclaimed from HMRC there is still sometimes scope for a professional negligence claim against a solicitor who has not given appropriate advice or followed instructions in the preparation of a return.

For further advice on Stamp Duty Land Tax, get in touch with Farleys’ property specialists on 0845 287 0939 or contact us by email through our online contact form.