SDLT payment window cut delayed until April 2018

The implementation of the 14-day window for filing and payment of stamp duty land tax (SDLT), reduced from 30 days, has been delayed to April 2018 after conveyancers expressed concerns over dealing with complex transactions while complying with the new time frame

Following consultation on the plans to cut the payment window from 30 to 14 days, first introduced in Autumn Statement 2015, HMRC has decided to push back the date of implementation from 2017 to April 2018 to give it time to address the issues raised.

The majority of respondents raised concerns over the reduction in the payment window even though the transactions likely to be affected represent a small proportion of reportable transactions, amounting to approximately 50,000 transactions every year.

Respondents believed that despite the proposed reduction being manageable for straightforward transactions, for example the purchase of residential properties, it would be difficult for more complex transactions where the property purchased is subject to leases.

They believed that 14 days would not be enough time to prepare the return; complete the various processes that have to take place between the agent and client, such as approval and the transferring of funds; and arrange payment to HMRC.

As a result of these concerns the implementation date was postponed, announced as part of the Spring Budget 2017.

Despite opposition to the payment window the majority of respondents showed great support towards the proposals to require agents to file online and submit payments electronically.

The government is therefore attempting to improve the SDLT online filing system while introducing the reduction of the payment window. It is also looking to move towards mandatory online filing and electronic payment but recognises that it will have to ensure it includes reasonable exemptions for certain conveyors.

Stamp duty land tax: changes to the filing and payment process is available here

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