This appeal concerned the availability of multiple dwellings relief (MDR) for stamp duty land tax purposes on the purchase of a house and self-contained garage with rooms above. The appeal was principally concerned with the extent of the facilities required for the preparation of food in order for a building to be a dwelling and, alternatively, whether it was in the process of being adapted for use as a dwelling.
“Even if, following completion of the alterations in December 2020, the Annexe was a dwelling within the meaning of paragraph 7, we do not accept that ‘in the process of being…adapted’ encompasses the steps taken by the Appellant as at completion. The Appellant had bought the kitchen units and appliances and he had contracted with a kitchen fitter to install the kitchen. However, the alterations had not started and we agree with HMRC and the Upper Tribunal in Ladson Preston at  that ‘in the process of being…adapted’ requires physical works to have started. We accept that the question would be more difficult had the Appellant’s fitter had made a nominal start on works but that is not the case in this appeal.
We do not accept that the delays caused by Covid, most importantly the inability to access the Annexe between exchange and completion changes the matter. Covid may be a very good reason for the delay but we have to determine the matter on the facts as they are not how the Appellant intended them to be.”
The taxpayer lost the appeal.
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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.