The time limit for filing Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”) returns will reduce from 30 days to 14 days with effect for transactions with an effective date on or after 1 March 2019. The “effective date” is usually the completion date, but can be earlier, where a contract is substantially performed e.g. a buyer or tenant takes possession of the property prior to completion. The 14 day time limit will apply to payment of SDLT as well. SDLT is paid on all chargeable land transactions that take place in England and Northern Ireland.

In some cases, a SDLT return must be made even when there is no SDLT payable on the transaction, for example, when a relief from SDLT is being claimed or where the transaction is below the limit for charging SDLT but above the SDLT filing exemption limit. Failure to file and pay the SDLT within the deadline results in a £100 penalty.

The current 30 days deadline, in certain circumstances, has been retained where a second or further SDLT return is required following the filing of an earlier SDLT return e.g. where a transaction involved uncertain consideration, and that uncertain consideration becomes payable, for example, when an overage payment can be calculated.

Land transaction tax

The 30-day deadline for the filing of Land Transaction Tax (“LTT”) returns for transactions in Wales will not change. LTT applies to land transactions involving land in Wales. This means that transactions involving the acquisition of a property portfolio including English and Welsh land will have different filing deadlines. In practice, we expect the conveyancers to deal with the SDLT and LTT returns at the same time.

If you'd like further advice about this please don't hesitate to contact a member of our Commercial Property team.

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