From 1 March 2019, all Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) returns in England and Northern Ireland will need to be filed and paid within 14 days, as opposed to the current 30-day deadline.
This change was first announced, by then Chancellor, George Osborne, during the 2015 Autumn Statement, with the aim of improving efficiency and reducing costs to both customers and HMRC.
The Treasury is expecting a £100 million windfall from the policy by the end of 2018/19, as opposed to a loss of £105 million in 2017/18, with the impact levelling out in future years, though consequently saving HMRC from incurring further losses.
The policy paper estimates that the new changes will impact around 20,000 businesses, such as conveyancers and solicitors, however, HMRC believe that any disruption will be short-term and negligible as businesses create processes to help them adhere to the new timescales.
In their summary, HMRC state that “the impact on admin burdens is expected to be negligible. One-off costs include familiarisation with the new time limits. On-going costs may include amending systems and/or processes to ensure returns are filed and payments are made within the 14 day deadline. However, many businesses already file and pay within 14 days.
“Furthermore, the improvements to the SDLT return will help these businesses comply, particularly as, where complex purchases involving leases, less information will be required.”
Timescales will not change in Scotland and Wales at this time.
This publication has been prepared by RRL LLP. It is to be treated as a general guide only and is not intended to be a comprehensive statement of the law or represent specific tax advice. No liability is accepted for the opinions it contains, or for any errors or omissions. All rights reserved.