Firm claiming to cut SDLT censured by ASA following HMRC complaint

A case brought by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) against a company that claimed to be able to cut stamp duty land tax by up to 60% has succeeded.

HMRC claimed that advertising from CDP Tax & Wealth Limited, trading name Fiducia Wealth and Tax, was misleading, lodging a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority.

Promoted by the company, the advertised scheme claimed to use statutory rules approved by the government to cut SDLT on residential property by up to 60%. However, as on some purchases no SDLT may be necessary at all, Fiducia would keep the 40% balance as its fee.

In agreement with the Revenue, the ASA ruled that the claims made by Fiducia were misleading. In turn, they should be withdrawn.

In statement, HMRC said: “Fiducia is selling a scheme which seeks to misuse this exemption through a complex series of transactions, so that no SDLT is paid. These types of arrangements fall under the meaning of ‘avoidance’ and go against the intentions of Parliament.

“The Fiducia website also failed to highlight that the SDLT scheme offered is a form of tax avoidance which HMRC is likely to challenge.”

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