Stamp duty land tax could hit unwary SMEs

Businesses have been warned to finalise quickly any purchase of more expensive properties or face an increased stamp duty land tax (SDLT).

The rate of SDLT, which is generally payable on the purchase or transfer of property or land in the UK where the amount paid is above a certain threshold, will increase to 5 per cent on transactions over £1,000,000 on April 6, up from the current 4 per cent.

Richard Godmon, tax partner at accountancy firm Menzies says, ‘If you are in the process of buying a property over £1,000,000 and want to avoid a 25 per cent increase in SDLT you only have two months to finalise the purchase.’

The warning follows recent news of the arrest of two British citizens for tax evasion late last year and is an indication that HMRC is getting tough on the matter.

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