Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) – Developer

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) – Developer

What is Stamp Duty Land Tax?

Often referred to as Stamp Duty, or SDLT, Stamp Duty Land Tax is a self-assessed tax paid by buyers of property in the UK based on that property’s value, as well as other, less well-understood factors. Introduced in 2003 as a replacement for the old Stamp Duty - tax on documents – it has been one of the most often adjusted and amended pieces of tax legislation on the UK statute books ever since.

Why would I have paid the wrong amount of SDLT?

The complexity and propensity for change in the SDLT legislation have combined to ensure that SDLT is also one of the least-understood taxes, particularly by those most directly effected by it, namely buyers and their solicitors, who are most often charged with completing the SDLT return on behalf of their clients.

Added to this, HMRC’s own SDLT calculators, provided on their websites, are not tailored to take account of all the variables which may affect the amount of SDLT due on a transaction. Indeed, in 2018 HMRC were forced to clarify to a national newspaper reporting on these facts that the calculators are intended merely as ‘a guide’.

All this means that mistakes are common – as many as one in five SDLT returns may be incorrectly completed, leading to millions of pounds in overpaid SDLT to HMRC every year. This can be because of missed reliefs based on the circumstances of the buyer, misclassification of the property being bought or any one of the more than thirty exemptions in the legislation being missed by the solicitor completing the SDLT return.

How do I know if I have overpaid SDLT?

Have you:

  • Purchased land with the benefit of a planning permission allowing the development and construction of residential housing or units?
  • Purchased an office building with permitted development rights for conversion for residential housing or units?
  • Purchased commercial property together with residential units or mixed-use land (i.e. land which has both commercial and non-commercial elements/use)?
Or does any property you have purchased include:
  • Substations or water pumps
  • Public footpaths
  • Communal gardens or public open space
  • Forestry, woodland or agricultural land
  • Car parks
  • Option agreement

If so, it is likely that the SDLT you paid on acquisition was miscalculated, and you could be due a substantial refund from HMRC.

What do I do next?

Finding out if you have a claim and moving forward with it couldn’t be simpler. Contact us by completing the form below or phone, or email us and one of our expert advisers will contact you within an hour to assess your situation and determine whether or not you are owed money.

We operate on a no claim, no fee basis, and in the event that a claim exists, we will handle it on your behalf for a transparent, fixed fee.

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Please have a look at our most frequently asked questions. If you can't find the answers you're looking for then please contact one of our tax advisers by phone 03333 050954 or email newbusiness@ctatax.uk.com.

If you have purchased any land or derelict property for development in the last four years, and these transactions were not checked by a qualified tax adviser with specialist SDLT knowledge, it is more than likely that some or all of these transactions have been incorrectly assessed for SDLT. The best way to be sure would be to engage SDLT Refunds to examine the transactions.

The SDLT legislation – especially when it concerns ‘non-standard’ acquisitions, i.e. acquisitions other than straightforward private residential purchases, is extremely complex, with an ever-shifting and growing set of exemptions, exceptions and reliefs. Unless your accountant, financial adviser or solicitor happens to be a tax expert with extensive expertise in SDLT, it is unlikely that they would be aware of all of these factors.

Solicitors are extremely wary of looking too closely at SDLT because of campaigns by both HMRC and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in relation to ‘tax avoidance’. The truth is they're more frightened of them than they are of you finding out that you’ve been made to pay too much tax. This, combined with trust in solicitors and the lack of knowledge and readily available, digestible information for the public on SDLT have meant that these errors and overpayments continue to this day.

You simply instruct SDLT Refunds and then we act on your behalf as your appointed representative and deal with the claim process from start to finish direct with HMRC. We are also happy to liaise with your professional advisers/accountants where required. From your point of view, it’s as easy as filling out a few details and then waiting for your refund to arrive.

Absolutely not. This is a legitimate assessment of the proper tax position which involves claiming back only money which has been overpaid based on the specifics of the transaction. There is no more reason to suppose this might affect your other tax affairs than would a claim for a VAT refund.

The first thing to bear in mind is that SDLT Refunds operates this service on a no win-no fee basis. The second is that in over two years of making these claims on behalf various clients including commercial developers, we have a 100% success rate and hundreds of satisfied customers. We will only make a claim where we are confident that a refund is owed.

We will agree fees with you once the initial assessment has been made and a claim has been determined to exist. This fee will be transparent and final – there are no hidden costs or extras in our process.

As part of the Cornerstone family, SDLT Refunds brings expertise and resources unparalleled in the field of property taxation advice to the table. Simply put, there is nobody more qualified in the UK to deal with your SDLT advice requirements.

Outbuildings, woodland, stables or annexes?

Reduce your stamp duty liability by thousands

Does your home qualify?

If your purchase price was more than £500,000 and contains land, woodland, outbuildings or annexes within its grounds then it’s likely you have overpaid Stamp Duty Land Tax.

Annex image


Does your property have a 'granny annex' or separate living accommodation? You could qualify for "mixed-use" tax relief.

Land image


If your property has land attached to it of more than 1.3 acres, it's likely you can qualify for "mixed-use" SDLT rates and potentially save thousands.

Outbuildings image


Do you have barns and other outbuildings as part of your purchase? Under "mixed-use" SDLT legislation you could substantially reduce your SDLT liability.

Woodland image


Where forestry land is parcelled up in the same transaction alongside a residential property, it can be argued the purchase is "mixed-use", potentially saving thousands.

T 03333 050954  E sdltrefunds@ctatax.uk.com

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To contact us by phone, email or post:
T 03333 050954  E newbusiness@ctatax.uk.com

Milestone House, 18 Nursery Court, Kibworth Business Park, Kibworth Harcourt, Leicester LE8 0EX

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