Whilst you were relaxing on 28 December (I was with the growing Rogers side of the family enjoying a Christmas chilli con carne as it happens), someone at HMRC / HMT pressed the ‘publish’ button on the additional property 3% SDLT proposals.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-higher-rates-of-stamp-duty-land-tax-sdlt-on-purchases-of-additional-residential-properties/higher-rates-of-stamp-duty-land-tax-sdlt-on-purchases-of-additional-residential-properties

The document includes a variety of helpful flowcharts to help advisers and taxpayers determine whether 3% extra SDLT is due – but of course there are complexities and areas that are yet to be ironed out.

The mechanics to determine whether this is an ‘additional property’ are straight forward – I have to look at how many properties I own after that transaction. In certain circumstances if you have bought a property which will become your PPR then a refund of SDLT can be sought.

There is a large section of spouses, civil partners and purchasing properties for the kids, all of which is worth reading because these are where the main practical complexities are likely to lie.

The main area of uncertainty however revolves around ‘large scale investors’. It is recognised that the additional SDLT may provide a deterrent to larger scale investors who arguably help to support the construction industry, and enable a diverse housing stock to be held for all types of resident. The consultation therefore asks respondents to consider one of two possible approaches.

A) Where corporates and funds, who already have more than 15 residential properties, then the additional SDLT would not be due.

B) Where corporates and funds, acquire more than 15 residential units in one transaction, then the additional SDLT will not be due.

Of course such investors already benefit from the potential application of multiple dwellings relief.

The consultation closes on 1 February, after which one assumes we will see something announced in Budget 2016 on 16 March, or shortly thereafter when draft legislation is published as has become the norm.

Oh to be back on 28 December eating Christmas chilli and garlic bread.

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