New homeowners are being warned about cold calls from rogue tax repayment agents advising them to make speculative Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) refund claims, which could leave them with large tax bills.
The warning comes after a recent spate of Stamp Duty refund claims to HMRC failed to meet very specific criteria.
The agents have been known to call new property owners after finding them through Land Registry records and property search websites, promising money back on ‘unknowingly overpaid’ Stamp Duty.
Recent analysis undertaken by HMRC suggests that up to a third of claims for ‘multiple dwelling relief’ refunds were incorrect.
HMRC raises enquiries on these claims, but sometimes this is after the agent has taken their fee, leaving the homeowner to pick up the difference. Incorrect refund claims must be repaid with interest, with some potentially facing penalties as well.
In one recent case, a letter from a rogue agent suggested a homeowner may have overpaid £60,000 worth of Stamp Duty. The agent claimed the home could be designated as two properties, despite it clearly being one. This is not an isolated example – other cases include:
Anyone approached about a Stamp Duty refund claim should check with their original conveyancer, take independent professional advice and check HMRC’s guidance by searching ‘Stamp Duty Land Tax’ on GOV.UK.
If you are buying or selling a home in Swindon, Cheltenham or the surrounding area, then please get in touch with the property law team at Optimum to talk about your conveyancing.