Reminder of reduced time to file SDLT returns and pay the tax due

Buyers of commercial and residential property should be aware that the time limit to file a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) return and pay the tax due will reduce from 30 days to 14 days from 1 March 2019. 

The obligation primarily falls on the taxpayer. For residential purchases there are obligations in relation to SDLT in the UK Finance Handbook.

Further information about the changes can be found on the government website.

The government confirmed this change in the Autumn Budget 2017. The Finance Act 2019 includes the primary legislative amendments to Finance Act 2003 to implement the changes. 

The change will be introduced via a statutory instrument which is now available for final review (Stamp Duty Land Tax (Administration) (Amendment) Regulations 2018). 

These amendments will reduce the time limit for filing a SDLT return to 14 days, in relation to transactions that are or become notifiable. Therefore, revisions will be made to:

  • section 76(1): return for a notifiable land transaction
  • section 80(2): return in cases where contingency ceases or consideration is ascertained
  • section 81A(1): where in consequence of later linked transaction, a return is required for an earlier transaction
  • schedule 17A paragraphs 3(3), 4(3) and 8(3): returns in relation to certain types of leases
  • The current 30-day filing and payment time limit will continue to apply where a further return is required.
  • The provisions on time limits to pay SDLT are linked to the filing time limit provisions, and therefore will not need to be amended.
  • The provision at section 87 regarding interest on unpaid tax will be amended, to ensure that interest will run from the end of 14 days or 30 days, whichever time limit applies.
  • Amendments to SI 2003/2837 in relation to the filing and payment provisions where an application has been made to defer the payment of tax and the changes to the SDLT returns will be made by Regulations later this year.
  • Question five of the new form SDLT4 now asks ‘Are you applying for deferment’ rather than ‘Have you agreed with HMRC that you will pay on a deferred basis?

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