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Stamp Duty - Deadline to submit and pay is reduced

Legislation being introduced by the Finance Bill 2018-19 means that from the 1st March 2019, the deadline to file and pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”) will be cut from the current 30 days to 14 days after the ‘effective date’ of the transaction.

The ‘effective date’ is usually the date of completion but can also be triggered by substantial performance, eg. Where a tenant is permitted early access to a property to carry out works.  This is not retrospective and will only apply to transactions with an effective date on or after 1 March 2019.  It is important to note that the 14 day period includes non-working days.

Extra planning will need to be taken around bank holidays such as Easter and Christmas when many firms may be closed to ensure compliance with the new 14 day time limit.

Shortening the time limit to file the SDLT return and pay the tax due will not change liabilities for the purchaser, but it will improve the efficiency of the SDLT system. The majority of returns are already filed within 14 days of the transaction.

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