VAT Director Rayner Essex
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A gate on a footpath

SDLT: Garden is not grounds


The Upper Tribunal has decided in favour of HMRC in a long running and important Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) decision, which provides some further clarification on the complex issue of what constitutes non-residential use of a property’s grounds.

4th May 2021
VAT Director Rayner Essex
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Mr and Mrs Hyman purchased a farmhouse in 2015. The farmhouse came with 3.5 acres of land and a barn, and SDLT (£95k) was paid on the full purchase price of £1.5m.

In 2017, the couple submitted a repayment claim for £35k on the basis the property was not wholly residential, but was in fact, mixed use because of the barn and fields. Where a residential property has an element of non-residential (or commercial) use, then the whole purchase can fall under the commercial SDLT rates.

The land had a public bridleway and was used for a handful of chickens and dog walking. The barn stored a tractor and other gardening equipment, used to maintain the field. The marketing material promoted the property as a farmhouse with gardens and grounds and outbuildings.

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Replies (1)

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By Paul Crowley
06th May 2021 09:54

Much appreciated. Your contributions are a valuable resource
Nice to see HMRC get a win. Most I read on here are HMRC losses

Thanks (1)