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Project Blue, SDLT sub-sales and s 75A

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A majority decision of the Supreme Court in Project Blue shifts the boundary between acceptable and unacceptable SDLT planning. The court accepted that the combination of FA 2003 s 45 (sub-sale relief) and s 71A (the exemption for alternative property finance) brought the SDLT due to nil. However, applying a wide, purposive interpretation of the legislation, the court found that s 75A applied to make SDLT payable because the relevant notional transactions resulted in a loss of tax, irrespective of the parties’ motive or intent.

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