Stamp duty land tax

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is self-assessed and there are stiff penalties for concealment or fraud. It is a compulsory tax on land transactions in England and Northern Ireland.

Since 1 April 2015, SDLT has not applied to land in Scotland, which is subject to its land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT). Wales introduced its version of SDLT, called land transaction tax (LTT), on 1 April 2018. Since English and Welsh property law is the same, practitioners must apply two differing stamp taxes depending on the property's location.

As most SDLT avoidance schemes do not work, an understanding of SDLT can assist in structuring transactions in a tax-efficient way. SDLT on leases is discussed in detail.

This section is maintained by Simon Howley of Bell Howley Perrotton LLP.