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HMRC wins £68m stamp duty avoidance case

HMRC is celebrating a legal victory after the Court of Appeal ruled against a £68m scheme used to avoid stamp-duty land tax (SDLT), overturning a previous ruling by the upper tribunal.

HMRC has won four other major SDLT cases this year, worth almost £400m.
The latest scheme involved the purchase of the former Dickens and Jones building in Regent
Street, London by DW3, a property developer, which tried to avoid paying £2.6m SDLT by selling the leasehold interest to a partnership in which it had a 98% interest.

The upper tax tribunal ruled that the scheme worked. HMRC took the case to the Court of Appeal.

In his judgement (The commissioners for HMRC and DV3 RS Limited Partnership, EWCA 907), Lord Justice Lewisin, said that DW3 claimed to have "devised a simple and elegant" scheme to avoid SDLT but "in the real world" the company had acquired a chargeable interest in the property and was therefore liable to pay tax.

Stuart Coleman, Manager of the Tax Department of ABDS comments:
“This appeal ruling could set a precedent for 87 other cases which are in various stages at the moment, we at ABDS will keep you informed of any future developments.”

David Gauke, exchequer secretary to the Treasury said the ruling was an "excellent win" that will protect taxpayers' money.

If you need any help and advice for your business on Corporation Tax or personal tax, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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