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Can I Avoid Paying Stamp Duty?

With the increasing costs of buying a property, it is tempting to consider a scheme to mitigate the cost of Stamp Duty. But before going down that route, it’s crucial to know and understand the risks involved with doing so.

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The Risks

One of the possible risks is that if HMRC has reason to suspect Stamp Duty avoidance, they might look into the owner’s property transaction, or even go so far as to investigate their complete tax affairs.

HMRC might begin an investigation that can go on for up to six years after the date the owner buys their property. If they conclude that the owner was supposed to have paid Stamp Duty, the owner could be made to pay the complete amount alongside a penalty that may go up to one hundred percent of the money owed. There’s a high chance they’d be charged interest too, which would begin starting from the date of completion.

The significant increase in Stamp Duty avoidance schemes made the HMRC respond with an equal amount of scrutiny.

By using Stamp Duty avoidance schemes, a property owner may find themselves in a costly litigation procedure which may result in them paying much more than they ever would have by paying Stamp Duty from the beginning.

Due to the HMRC’s relentless pursuit against Stamp Duty avoidance, along with the publicity this particular issue has gained in recent years, avoidance schemes are becoming much less prevalent as the consequences aren’t worth the benefits to most people.

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To look further into what it means to avoid Stamp Duty, this article may be helpful:.

Alternative Options

Stamp Duty is a complex and pricey issue that most property owners have to deal with. In certain cases, a Deed of Assignment can help by redirecting some of those expenses in a legitimate way. Legal specialists such as https://www.parachutelaw.co.uk/deed-of-assignment can be helpful when looking into such endeavours.

There are other cases in which properties can be legitimately exempt from Stamp Duty.

If the property has been transferred to the holder with no payment changing hands or if it was transferred as the result of either a divorce or civil partnership, the owner may be able to avoid the fees.

In other cases, such as if the property was left to the owner in a will or was purchased for less than £40,000, then it may also be exempt from SDLT.

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