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Stamp Duty Avoidance ?

edited 15 September 2018 at 6:31PM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
2 replies 357 views
michael1234michael1234 Forumite
175 posts
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edited 15 September 2018 at 6:31PM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
Not really considering this seriously but had a thought and Google hasn't answerered it.

If a company already owns a single residential property (i.e. that company is listed at the land registry as the owner) and I come along and buy 51% of its shares I haven't bought the house (I've barely bought half a house) but I've taken a controlling stake in a company that owns the house and can thus am effectively the owner.

So if there is no transfer, there is no stamp duty to pay?

Obviously this could be extrapolated to the parent company also being a company and it being offshore, buying 100% of the shares etc etc.

Google has lots of articles about buying a house through a company but not the above - at least I couldn't find any.

Thoughts?

Replies

  • anselldanselld Forumite
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    Property ownership not changed so no SDLT.

    Doesn't help you though unless the property you wish to buy is already the sole asset of a Limited Co.
  • edited 15 September 2018 at 7:11PM
    davidmcndavidmcn Forumite
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    edited 15 September 2018 at 7:11PM
    You'll find plenty of examples if you search for commercial property-related items, as it's a common method of reducing stamp duty. Bear in mind (a) there is stamp duty (at 0.5%) on share purchases, so not completely tax-free (b) as above, it's only going to be of use if you want to own everything the company owns and (c) you also bear the risk of any liabilities the company has (which might not be obvious), so much more due diligence and professionals' bills involved.

    Plus of course all the other considerations of whether it's better for you to own via a limited company or personally.
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