Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax that must be paid when you buy property in the UK. It is calculated as a percentage of the purchase price, and the amount of tax you pay depends on the value of the property and whether various reliefs are applicable, most commonly for first time buyers.
In recent years there has been an increase in tax repayment firms contacting new homeowners and suggesting they are entitled to a rebate as they have ‘unknowingly overpaid’ SDLT. Unfortunately, some of these agents are encouraging spurious claims or vastly exaggerating the applicability of the conditions which may prompt a rebate.
HMRC has recently launched a number of initiatives to crack down on this type of fraud. Officers are initiating criminal investigations into both the firms and the customers taking up their services.
HMRC are increasingly investigating this type of fraud and where necessary conducting interviews under caution with both the agents and customers about regarding involvement in the rebate applications. If HMRC believe dishonesty has taken place they may commence a fraud prosecution which could lead to a fine or in serious cases a custodial sentence.
If you have been contacted by HMRC regarding a Stamp Duty Land Tax rebate criminal investigation, you should immediately seek legal advice, Richardson Lissack have a team of expert lawyers that can advise and represent you.