If you’re a business that has to complete a SDLT, or Stamp Duty Land Tax Return, it’s essential to get advice if you’re not sure about what you need to do; this can involve getting legal assistance from tax specialists, which can enable you to avoid problems with errors on your form, and can help you to get through the paperwork associated with a land transfer with the minimum of fuss. How, then, can you complete your SDLT return accurately?
The SDLT return applies to businesses and individuals that have transferred land or property, and need to pay stamp duty on it in the form of a Land Transaction Return. Once completed, the SDLT form allows you to take possession of a SDLT5 form, and means that you have met your legal obligations for taxing land transactions. This tax is typically paid within 30 days, and can be completed online or on paper, with the former option being much faster.
In terms of the SDLT’s history as a tax form, it was introduced in December 2003, and was intended to act as a way to simplify the process of paying tax. At present, the only transactions that don’t require stamp duty to be paid include those that have a value of less than £125,000; between £125,000 and £250,000, you have to pay 1 per cent of the purchase price. From £250,000 to £500,000, you have to pay 3 per cent, and 4 per cent on deals of up to £1 million. Deals that range up to £2 million then incur a duty of 5 per cent, which rises to 7 per cent for deals over that amount. Exemptions can apply, however, if no money changes hands during a transaction.
The speed by which an SDLT form is completed can depend on whether you have to add in any extra forms, which can cover specialist parts of a transaction; conveyancers can typically advise you on whether your property transaction requires these documents. Example forms include an SDLT 2, which covers situations where there are two or more sellers and buyers, and an SDLT 3 form, used when you don’t have enough space on an initial form.
If you’re filling out an SDLT form on your own, there can be occasions where you don’t have all the relevant information you need; this might occur if you haven’t checked over the details of a transaction, and can mean that you have to re-apply to submit a form. When completed properly, the SDLT form should only take about ten minutes to get through, with the paper version stretching to just six pages. You’ll also be able to track your form online using a Unique Transaction Reference Number.
Given the complexity of the SDLT form, it’s a good idea to work with an experienced solicitor or tax specialist that can help you to complete it; they can also check over forms for any mistakes, as well as whether or not you’ll be eligible for any exemptions. While the cost of using an accountant may be relatively high, you’ll receive peace of mind in terms of the service you’ll receive, making it a worthwhile investment in the long run.
Author Bio : James Patrick is a blogger with a special interest in tax law. He recommends working getting bespoke accountancy software from CaseWare if you are planning on starting up an accountancy firm. He also blogs about inheritance law.