2 Dec

HMRC focuses on property tax avoidance

HMRC focuses on property tax avoidance

The HMRC has confirmed its recent crackdown on property tax avoidance has had strong results.  

Figures from the department's Counter Avoidance Directorate has led to the recovery of £301.8 million in unpaid property tax.  

According to private client law firm Collyer Bristow, the HMRC's policy to ensure people pay the correct stamp duty and land tax (SDLT) that was established in 2014 has largely been a success.  

"The government’s aggressive clamp down on SDLT avoidance schemes over the last few years is now bearing fruit. The high returns from compliance investigations mean that this area is likely to remain under the spotlight for some time to come," explained James Badcock, partner at Collyer Bristow. 

In particular, the rise in house values in the South East and London has been attributed with the increase in buyers taking steps to avoid paying tax.  

Anyone who has used a scheme that may allow a legal justification for avoiding SDLT liability is being advised that HMRC may challenge the transaction and therefore they should seek advice.  

Mr Badcock added: "Another critical factor is a climate in which engaging in abusive tax avoidance can cause reputational damage to those in the public eye." ADNFCR-1222-ID-801807199-ADNFCR

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