Blog: Property Tax News

Simplifying VAT on Land and Property?

Property Tax Bite – Simplifying VAT on Land and Property? There is no doubt that the VAT treatment of land and property is complex. Starting from the most basic statement, set out in the legislation, that interests in land are exempt from VAT, the exceptions to that rule come thick and fast, and that is before considering zero-rating and reduced rating of certain supplies, and exceptions to the...

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SDLT sub sale relief

Property Tax Bite – SDLT sub-sale relief In sub-sale transactions, the availability of relief from SDLT for the intermediate purchaser is crucial. In most commercial sub-sales, the facts should support the relief being available, but as ever there are issues and pitfalls to watch out for. In this Tax Bite we very briefly summarise the key requirements for a “normal” sub-sale where A enters into a...

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VAT - Property TOGCs - Tips, reminders, pitfalls

VAT - Property TOGCs – Tips, reminders, pitfalls Here’s our ten starters for ten on property TOGCs: 1. Does the Buyer need to opt to tax? It is often assumed that the Buyer always has to opt for the transfer to be a TOGC, but that’s not correct. The Buyer only has to opt if the sale would otherwise be VATable, e.g. if the Seller has opted or the sale is of a “new” commercial freehold, so...

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Electronic stamp duty is made permanent

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, HMRC began a paperless process for stamping stock transfer forms and applications for stamp duty reliefs on 27 March 2020. It was first announced as a temporary measure, but has since been confirmed to be permanent, with physical stamping now a thing of the past. Most corporate lawyers and others involved in dealing with the administrative side of stamping...

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Covid-19 and HMRC’s latest views on VAT and lease variations

HMRC have recently published new guidance (available here) on the VAT and SDLT implications of certain lease variations. In spite of HMRC’s statement that there is no change in policy, the VAT guidance represents a move away from what many advisers might previously have considered the position to be on certain lease amendments, where each party “gives something” to the other. The new guidance has...

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SDLT Holiday

As has been widely publicised, the Chancellor announced a temporary reduction in the rates of residential SDLT** as part of the government’s “mini-Budget”. The nil rate band for all residential property will be increased to £500,000 (from £125,000) effective immediately and until 31 March 2021, in the hopes of both supporting the housing market as it recovers from its hibernation during the...

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Property Restructuring

Covid-19 is creating challenges for the whole country, but there will undoubtedly also be some opportunities too. This tax bite looks briefly at some of the tax-related opportunities that could exist in relation to property in the current climate. With predictions that property prices may reduce in the short term as a result of Covid-19, now may be a good time to consider extracting expensive...

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Protecting Assets within a Group

Companies with valuable property (or other) assets sat in their trading companies should consider reorganising their structure to try to ring-fence these valuable assets from trading risk. If there is already a group structure, then it should be relatively straightforward to transfer assets to achieve this commercial aim. There are some tax points to consider before doing so, not least VAT and...

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April 2020 Property Tax Changes

This is a summary of the most important property tax changes that came into effect in April, together with a reminder of some other key recent changes. Clearly the Covid-19 crisis is severely impacting the property market, as it is almost all sectors and areas of the economy, and we will provide other bulletins which are focused on Covid-19 and related challenges and opportunities from a tax...

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