New homeowners warned about stamp duty refund claims

Stamp Duty Land Tax

New homeowners are being warned about cold calls from rogue agents advising them to make speculative stamp duty land tax (SDLT) refund claims, which could leave them with large tax bills. The warning comes after HMRC has had a splurge in SDLT refund claims that have failed to meet the criteria. 

 

These agents have been calling new property owners after finding them through land registry records, promising money back on ‘unknowingly overpaid’ stamp duty.

 

In a recent example, a letter from a rogue agent suggested a homeowner may have overpaid £60,000 worth of stamp duty. The agent claimed the home could be designated as two properties, despite it clearly being one. This is not an isolated example.

 

Recent analysis undertaken by HMRC suggests that up to a third of claims for multiple dwelling relief refunds were incorrect.

 

HMRC raises enquiries on these claims, but sometimes that is after the agent has taken their fee, leaving the homeowner to pick up the difference. Incorrect refund claims must be repaid with interest, with some potentially facing penalties as well.

 

HMRC collected £11.6bn in SDLT in 2019 to 2020 and this is set to rise as average UK house prices continue to soar after the pandemic. The average UK house price was £277,000 in February 2022, which is £27,000 higher than this time last year. This figure is £530,000 in London.

 

Anyone approached about a stamp duty refund claim should check with their original conveyancer, take independent professional advice and check HMRC’s guidance by searching ‘stamp duty land tax’ on gov.uk or contact the HMRC helpline on 0300 2003 510.