The Upper Tribunal has upheld a decision by the FTT, confirming that the tax liability on a transaction was the liability of the appellant alone. Fox v HMRC  UKUT 310 (TCC).
The taxpayer accepted that a scheme that purported to reduce the chargeable consideration from over £1 million to £10,000 did not work. The tribunal had to decide whether Mr Fox should only be liable for half of the SDLT on the basis that he acted as trustee for himself and his former wife.
Rejecting the taxpayer’s appeal, the Upper Tribunal commented that:
“The result is therefore in line with the actions and intentions of the parties save for the fact that the Scheme did not work as a result of Mr and Mrs Fox being connected. Mr and Mrs Fox entered into the Scheme to avoid SDLT. The Scheme did not work as a result of the connected persons’ rule, but it is entirely clear, as found by the FTT, that the parties took clear steps to structure transactions in line with the Scheme.
Consequently, the FTT was right in conclusion, as summarised above, that as a result of the application of section 45 the chargeable consideration for the land transaction in this case was £1,085,000. Mr Fox alone is liable to pay the SDLT chargeable in respect of that consideration as he is to be regarded as the transferee under the conveyance that vested the property both legally and beneficially in him alone.”
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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.