SDLT Update: Extension To Time Limit For Replacement Of Main Residence Refunds In "Exceptional Circumstances"

Publication Date16 June 2020
AuthorMr Robert Sowerby
SubjectReal Estate and Construction, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Real Estate, Government Measures
Law FirmWrigleys Solicitors

HMRC to Allow Applications for Post-Transaction Refunds Based on the Replacement of Main Residence Exemption Outside of the Usual 3 Year Time Limit.

Under the rules governing the higher rates of SDLT payable for purchases of additional residential dwellings, the purchase of a new dwelling intended for use as the purchaser's main residence before the purchaser's previous main residence has been disposed of will in most circumstances, attract the higher rates of SDLT. A refund of the higher rates element of the SDLT bill can be claimed where the previous main residence is disposed of after the new purchase, but, under the relevant legislation, the refund is only available where the disposal of the previous main residence takes place within the period of 3 years following the dated of purchase of the new main residence.

HMRC has, however, recently updated its guidance on the higher rates to indicate that it will consider applications for refunds in situations where 'exceptional circumstances' beyond the taxpayer's control have prevented the disposal from being able to be completed within the prescribed 3 year period.

HMRC provides the following examples of possible exceptional circumstances:

- being prevented from selling...

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