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The SDLT planning landscape

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SDLT schemes continue to be promoted but the market for such schemes is likely to be severely curtailed, if not halted, following the restriction or abolition of the grandfathering exemption for SDLT schemes under DOTAS after Royal Assent of the Finance Bill. Other obstacles facing promoters of contrived or abusive SDLT schemes include the operation of the SDLT ‘mini-GAAR’ in FA 2003 s 75A; more effective policing by HMRC; the proposed GAAR (which will cover SDLT); and the Chancellor’s threat to counteract ‘inappropriate ways’ of circumventing the 15% enveloping charge on acquisitions of residential property over £2m by retrospective legislation. However, there will continue to be a role for the specialist in advising on SDLT planning which involves very different challenges to those advising on abusive schemes.

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