Mark McLaughlin looks at a case on an important exception from the higher rate of stamp duty land tax.
A higher rate of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) applies (in England and Northern Ireland) to acquisitions involving a ‘higher threshold interest’ by a company (among others). This is broadly an interest in a single dwelling costing more than £500,000. The SDLT rate in such circumstances is 15% (FA 2003, Sch 4A, para 3).
These rules potentially catch many acquisitions of dwellings by companies. Fortunately, there are some important exceptions from the 15% charge if certain conditions are satisfied.
For example, the SDLT higher rate does not apply broadly if the ‘higher threshold’ dwelling is acquired exclusively for any of the following purposes (among others):;