Talking to your clients - Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and residential property

Tax is an ever changing world but some changes are more important to clients than others.

The date of April 2012 marks a number of such changes and it is an ideal time for you to talk to clients and help them to maximise their tax position.

Whilst you will be aware of the technical issues it is easy to forget, and find the time, to focus on explaining these to clients. Taking extracts from our Finance Act 2011 course notes, we have prepared a series of tax tips to assist you when 'Talking to your clients' to provide proactive, responsible and timely advice therefore saving you time.

Legislation was introduced to give relief from SDLT where the consideration is more than £125,000 but not more than £250,000 for purchases of residential property. This relief applies where the purchaser, or all the purchasers, are first time buyers and intend to occupy the property as their only or main home and the transaction is not part of a series of linked transactions. The relief is available for residential property purchases where the effective date (normally the date of completion) is on or after 25 March 2010 and before 25 March 2012.

'First-time buyer' means a person who has not previously:

  • been a purchaser in relation to a relevant acquisition of a major interest in land which consisted of or included residential property; or

acquired an equivalent interest in such land under the law of a territory outside the UK.

Similar rules apply where a person has previously purchased property under alternative finance arrangements.

A 'relevant acquisition of a major interest in land' means an acquisition of a major interest in land other than the:

  • grant of a lease for a term of less than 21 years; or

assignment of a lease which has less than 21 years to run.

Key point

Make sure that those who might be affected are aware of the deadline.

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