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Pensfold v HMRC

In Pensfold v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 116 (TC) the FTT held that the 15% rate of SDLT did not apply to an acquisition of a farm. The buyer had the intention of developing the farm into an eco/agritourism venture within FA 2003 Sch 4A para 5B. There was no requirement for the trade to actually be carried out for the relief to apply and the delay to carrying out the project was justified by commercial considerations.

The buyer Pensfold (a Caymans company) acquired a farm in 2017 with the intention of developing it into an eco/agritourism business. The project was delayed twice: once to draw up detailed plans and secondly because of the SDLT enquiry.

The FTT had to consider whether the acquisition fell within FA 2003 Sch 4A para 5B and whether the property was residential or non-residential.

The FTT held that the buyer met the conditions set...

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