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  • FIRST POST
    • 6022tivo
    • By 6022tivo 4th Dec 17, 5:10 PM
    • 517Posts
    • 125Thanks
    6022tivo
    Avoiding Stamp Duty
    • #1
    • 4th Dec 17, 5:10 PM
    Avoiding Stamp Duty 4th Dec 17 at 5:10 PM
    Hello

    Asking on behalf of a friend.

    Buying a house for £450,000 and the estimated stamp duty is about £12,500
    The solicitor had advised us of a "service" in which we do not have to pay stamp duty, but the service is going to cost us 50% of the saving £6000
    If "caught" the penalty is that all the stamp duty must be paid to the HMRC (no more than it would have cost originally) and that the 50% will be returned for the service.

    Apart from sounding completely, dodgy, thoughts on this.
    It is described as a secret loophole that would not be discussed with them?
Page 1
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 4th Dec 17, 5:14 PM
    • 24,053 Posts
    • 66,667 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 17, 5:14 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 17, 5:14 PM
    I thought this had been closed already.

    Getting caught isn’t avoidance, it’s evasion.

    Hardly seems worth it for £3,000 and the potential hassle of reclaiming. If one person reclaims then everyone will. I don’t know about you, but if I do work and get paid for it, I have a terrible habit of spending at least some of it.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 4th Dec 17, 5:15 PM
    • 5,559 Posts
    • 4,954 Thanks
    00ec25
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 17, 5:15 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 17, 5:15 PM
    one would have hoped that no one is still foolish enough to try and sell/promote these Stamp Duty Mitigation Schemes by now given that HMRC announced they are firmly in their sights as a target for retrospective tax collection
    https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/tax-avoidance-schemes-currently-in-the-spotlight

    http://www.fridaysmove.com/conveyancing-solicitor-and-stamp-duty-mitigation/14888

    as you have already seen, the weasel words cover the scheme from any liability for the tax you will have to pay when HMRC catches up with you, and "of course" by then the scheme itself will have liquidated, and set up under a different name, so you cannot recover the fees you paid them as "they" no longer exist and their scheme has "failed" meaning you will end up paying 150% of the tax you'd have paid had you not "tried" to evade it in the first place.

    here are some 90 odd "examples" of those who went before you
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4956059&highlight=stamp+mitigatio n
    Last edited by 00ec25; 04-12-2017 at 5:23 PM.
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 4th Dec 17, 5:16 PM
    • 1,306 Posts
    • 1,574 Thanks
    Surrey_EA
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 17, 5:16 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 17, 5:16 PM
    thoughts on this.
    Originally posted by 6022tivo
    Walk away and find a different solicitor to act for your friend.

    The chances of there being a secret, legal, loophole that only they have spotted is devastatingly small.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 4th Dec 17, 5:23 PM
    • 42,280 Posts
    • 49,120 Thanks
    G_M
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 17, 5:23 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 17, 5:23 PM
    I'm surprised a 'solicitor' is recommending this. Too much risk of getting struck off.

    Not a 'conveyancer' instead by any chance?

    Any fee you pay them to arrange this will never be refunded, even after coming back here to ask for our help........

    And HMRC might not just demand the SDLT owed. But also a penalty for late payment. And potentially a prosecution for tax evasion.....

    Enough said?
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 4th Dec 17, 5:26 PM
    • 3,875 Posts
    • 7,881 Thanks
    DaftyDuck
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 17, 5:26 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 17, 5:26 PM
    Good advice from Surrey_EA. A solicitor who tries to shaft Her Maj's Revenues is just as likely to do the same to you, one way or another....

    One who tries one of these dated ploys that's bound to fail (by which time the company that was going to refund you has vanished) is likely so incompetent, ignorant, or inebriated (or all three) that I'd run a mile rather than use him.
    • martinsurrey
    • By martinsurrey 4th Dec 17, 5:27 PM
    • 3,225 Posts
    • 3,927 Thanks
    martinsurrey
    • #7
    • 4th Dec 17, 5:27 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Dec 17, 5:27 PM
    Walk away and find a different solicitor to act for your friend.

    The chances of there being a secret, legal, loophole that only they have spotted is devastatingly small.
    Originally posted by Surrey_EA
    with the general anti abuse rules, it is zero!

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/611577/gaar-parts-a-c-2017.pdf
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 4th Dec 17, 6:16 PM
    • 2,790 Posts
    • 673 Thanks
    theGrinch
    • #8
    • 4th Dec 17, 6:16 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Dec 17, 6:16 PM
    Sounds like a dodgy solicitor - is it Hammond, May and Green sols? Dodgy bunch of swines.
    "enough is a feast"...old Buddist proverb
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 4th Dec 17, 6:46 PM
    • 7,672 Posts
    • 8,286 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    • #9
    • 4th Dec 17, 6:46 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Dec 17, 6:46 PM
    I’m with those who say get a different solicitor there’s something very dodgy about this.
    • kinger101
    • By kinger101 4th Dec 17, 9:25 PM
    • 3,955 Posts
    • 5,415 Thanks
    kinger101
    Write back to the solicitor asking them to provide;

    (a) Counsel's Opinion from a barrister experienced in tax litigation that the scheme is watertight;
    (b) A guarantee that in the event of investigation by HMRC, that they'll cover 100% of all fees association with any investigation;
    (c) If ruled illegal, they'll cover not only all overdue tax penalties and interest, but an additional £10,000,000 to make you feel better about the irrevocable damage this has done to your reputation;
    (d) A guarantee that in the event you serve a custodial sentence, they be they'll join you in prison, and volunteer to take any unusual treatment on your behalf that is given out in the showers by fellow inmates.


    If they agree to this, and appear to have professional indemnity insurance and funds in escrow to cover possible financial liabilities, then I don't really see why you wouldn't want to do this. I don't know why everyone else is being so cautious.
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 4th Dec 17, 9:50 PM
    • 364 Posts
    • 526 Thanks
    Slithery
    But even all of the above wont protect you if the company selling you this 'service' liquidate.

    Run fast. Run very fast.
    Last edited by Slithery; 04-12-2017 at 10:00 PM.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 4th Dec 17, 10:44 PM
    • 1,951 Posts
    • 1,824 Thanks
    steampowered
    Lots of people tried to use these schemes a few years ago and got very badly burned.
    • Mutton Geoff
    • By Mutton Geoff 5th Dec 17, 8:38 AM
    • 998 Posts
    • 1,036 Thanks
    Mutton Geoff
    One SDLT mitigation available at the moment is the multiple property relief. If the property your friend is buying is actually two properties in one (eg self contained granny annexe) then it is possible to reduce the stamp duty to £4,000 (two lots of £2,000 on 2x £225,000 purchase in one transaction).I am in the process of getting a large rebate under this HMRC rule.


    https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/stamp-duty-land-tax-manual/sdltm29900
    Compensations/Refunds from Banks & Institutions - £4,165 | Stooz Profits - £7,636 | Quidco - £4,014

    All with a big thank you to Martin and MSE.com from Mutton Geoff!
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