As of today a new element of the SDLT charge applies to ‘overseas buyers’, in the form of an additional 2% per cent charge.  There are detailed rules about residence to establish who has to pay, but for example someone who has been working overseas permanently or for substantial periods of time needs to beware.  There are special rules for companies.

While we are on the subject….

Another aspect of SDLT which causes concern is whether a property is purely residential or ‘mixed use’.  ‘Mixed use’ properties will attract tax at the commercial rate, which setting the current ‘holiday’ aside for the moment, is usually much lower.   People may wish to argue that residences with very substantial grounds and that rural using such as stables which include a dwelling are ‘mixed use’,  HM Revenue & Customs may well resist in such cases and try and charge residential rates.

The message is that this tax has the potential for raising complex and costly issues and specialist advice may be needed.