The Court of Appeal has unanimously rejected the taxpayers’ appeal in a case involving “a series of pre-planned steps in a scheme which, it is said, allowed them to acquire the house without having to pay stamp duty land tax” – Brown v HMRC  EWCA Civ 92.
The court upheld the view of the Upper Tribunal:
“Paragraph 25 of Schedule 10 [of FA 2003] enables HMRC to make a determination of the SDLT payable in the case of a “chargeable transaction” in respect of which no land transaction return had been given. We agree with Mr Elliott that in this case the “chargeable transaction” was the acquisition by Mr and Mrs Brown of the Property. As we have said, a “chargeable transaction” is a “land transaction” that is not exempt and the definition of a “land transaction” under section 43(1) is the “acquisition of a chargeable interest”. Therefore, in this case in the Determination, HMRC decided that SDLT was payable in respect of Mr and Mrs Brown’s acquisition of the chargeable interest, namely the Property. In our view, there is no requirement to specify whether the acquisition has resulted in SDLT being payable as a result of the application of section 45(3) or by reference to a notional transaction which is arises as a result of the operation of section 75A. Whether or not the liability to SDLT arises by reference to an actual transaction or a notional transaction there is still only one transaction, namely the chargeable transaction which is the acquisition of the Property.”
Related content from Claritax Books
Stamp Duty Land Tax is a well-written, user-friendly guide to the complexities of SDLT, written for accountants, solicitors and other tax professionals, with plenty of worked examples. Topics covered include basic principles, leasehold transactions, partnerships, trusts, reliefs, anti-avoidance legislation and recent tribunal decisions. Full reference is made throughout to relevant legislation, case law and guidance from HMRC.