Beware – HMRC has confirmed that it is cracking down on Stamp Duty Land Tax avoidance schemes.
It has been heralded for some time and HMRC is now significantly increasing its efforts in this area of tax avoidance.
A number of companies have been selling these complicated schemes, at a not inconsiderable cost, on the promise of very significant Stamp Duty savings on property transactions. On most (if not all) schemes the fees have to be paid up front before any detail is given, so reviewing any scheme before the financial commitment is usually impossible.
Blaser Mills’ position is, and has been for quite some time, that these schemes are too risky to be advisable and from the way things are going, that seems to have been a very sensible position to take. Even the Solicitors Regulation Authority is now (as of last month) formally advising solicitors to “think twice” before becoming involved.
HMRC has confirmed that it is now challenging all schemes which it has identified as being in use. Acknowledging that people will sometimes make mistakes, it has stated that it will “relentlessly pursue” those who deliberately bend or break the rules – including, where appropriate, seeking penalties.
For more information please contact one of our property lawyers on 0845 604 2847.