The UK Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) Review Service

April, 2021

Author: Soteria Trusts

If you, your family members, colleagues or friends are holding UK property this is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of our SDLT Review Service.

Its thought that as many as 1 in 4 UK property transactions have the wrong amount of Stamp Duty Land Tax calculated and paid at outset. Working in conjunction with a UK Chartered Tax Specialist our service offers the client a review of transactions that have taken place in the last 4 year to see if they are eligible for a refund. The review is undertaken on a no win no fee basis by ourselves and partner, so clients have nothing to lose and everything to gain from having a review. The whole process takes circa 3 to 4 weeks and has been popular with an extremely high success rate on the claims processed so far.

Almost every Stamp Duty calculation is made by inputting the purchase price of an asset into a recognised Stamp duty calculator, which then churns out an amount that the conveyancer will tell you needs to be paid. However, SDLT is not a simple transaction tax anymore and many exclusions can apply and which are rarely, if ever, utilised. A generic Stamp Duty calculator cannot account for all of the 40+ exemptions that exist nor with the various structures that can be used to purchase a property. It is a combination of these intricacies and the errors in calculations that have a big impact on the amount that actually needs to be paid, and that often lead to an overpayment being made.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs will never contact you to say that you’ve paid too much tax, once paid it is up to the individual to demonstrate an overpayment was made and reclaim any excess. As this is a complex topic most people accept what they are told by their representatives at outset, but we believe they shouldn’t and instead have us revisit the calculations to see if it was correctly done.


Our SDLT Review Service can examine previous transactions from the last four years and quickly determine whether there is a likelihood that an overpayment of SDLT has occurred.

If it has, our specialist partner will write to HMRC, laying out the technical details of why they feel that an overpayment has been made. At the successful conclusion of this, a refund cheque from HMRC is issued in favour of the over payer.

The review service, which is available on both residential and commercial transactions, is operated on a no win no fee basis and only once our specialist team believe there is a strong claim for overpaid tax, that an admin fee becomes payable. Any refund is basically a return of capital that was essentially ‘lost’ with our agreed fees being taken from the refund amount once received.

Case study for a Commercial Purchase

Mr. A completed his purchase in November 2019 for a total consideration of £11,850,000. At the time of completion he paid SDLT at the additional residential rate of £1,691,250.

Upon a review of the transaction, our specialist SDLT consultants identified that the property included 6 self-contained flats and as such, may be classed as non-residential property under s116. On 13 November 2020 our specialist SDLT consultants wrote to HMRC to explain that at the time of completion, the non-residential rate of SDLT applied to the transaction. On 7 December 2020 HMRC subsequently made a repayment of £1,114,705.08 (inc. £5,455.08 accrued interest).

Case Study for a Residential Purchase

Mr. N purchased a London property in Feb 2020 for a total consideration of £3,200,000. At the time he paid Stamp duty of £297,000 having secured first time buyer rates by buying the property in his son’s name.

Upon review of the transaction, our specialist SDLT consultants determined this was a mixed-use purchase and not a full residential purchase. This was due to the unit being reserved with an exclusivity payment or reservation fee of 1000 GBP. This payment was seen as commercial due to the unit not being habitable at the time the reservation was made. This was highlighted to HMRC and a rebate of £147,000 was made.

For more information or case assessment, please contact us at

Zetland Tax