HMRC Rubber Stamp New Changes On Stamp Duty Land Tax

In less than a month, 1st March 2019, all Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) returns in England and Northern Ireland will need to be filed and paid within 14 days, as opposed to the current 30-day deadline.

Time scales will not change in Scotland and Wales at this time.

During the Autumn Statement of 2015, then chancellor, George Osbourne, announced that the proposed changes to SDLT will improve efficiency and reduce costs to both customers and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

It is predicted that the impact to the exchequer of a £108 million loss in 2017/18 will convert into a £100 million windfall by the end of 2018/19 with the impact levelling off in future years, but consequently saving HMRC from the current losses.

Whilst it will aim to prevent HMRC from losing money in the future, implementation is expected to cost £600,000 to make the adequate changes to IT systems that will implement the measures.

Furthermore, the policy paper claims that the new changes will impact around 20,000 businesses, like conveyancers and solicitors. However, HMRC believe than any disruption will be short-term and negligible as businesses create processes to help them adhere to the new time scales.

The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) statement claims: “This measure will affect approximately 20,000 businesses, including small and micro businesses who are mainly licenced conveyancers and solicitors. These businesses act for individuals and companies in filing SDLT returns and making payments on their behalf.

“The impact on admin burdens is expected to be negligible. One-off costs include familiarisation with the new time limits. On-going costs may include amending systems and/or processes to ensure returns are filed and payments are made within the 14-day deadline. However, many businesses already file and pay within 14 days.

“Furthermore, the improvements to the SDLT return will help these businesses comply, particularly as, where complex purchases involving leases, less information will be required.

“HMRC will continue to review how the policy on filing and payment time limits operate in practice, through review of correspondence with taxpayers and their agents, and liaison with stamp taxes practitioners.”

Is your business prepared to reduce SDLT returns from 30 to 14 days? What impact will this change have on the conveyancing sector?

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