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Lancer Scott v HMRC

In Lancer Scott v HMRC (Upper Tribunal – 10 January) a company purchased five flats on 9 October 2009 and did not submit the relevant land transaction returns until 20 November 2009. HMRC imposed penalties totalling £500 under FA 2003 Sch 10 para 3. The Upper Tribunal dismissed the company’s appeals holding that the effect of FA 2003 s 44(5)(b) was that the effective date was 9 October 2009 and that the company should have submitted the returns within 30 days of that date.

Why it matters: FA 2003 s 44(5) defines when a contract is ‘substantially performed’ for the purpose of stamp duty land tax. The Tribunal upheld HMRC’s view that the purchase contract had been ‘substantially performed’ on 9 October 2009 so that the company was liable to a penalty for late notification. 

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