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HMRC win in SDLT arrangement case

Stamp Duty Land Tax cases

A recent FTT decision considered the correct procedure for HMRC making SDLT determinations and discovery assessments.


Associate Partner, Head of Stamp Taxes



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The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) recently released its decision in Crest Nicholson (Wainscott) & Ors v HMRC Comrs [2017] UKFTT 0134 (TC), an appeal in respect of an SDLT arrangement used by the housebuilder group on the purchase of land in 2006. The arrangement predates the SDLT general anti-avoidance rule and was the subject of an earlier FTT decision in Vardy Properties & Anor v HMRC Comrs [2012] UKFTT 564 (TC). It involved three Crest Nicholson companies. Assessments were made in the alternative. Crest Nicholson accepted that one of the companies owed the tax, but argued that the assessment was defective. The FTT dismissed the appeal and set aside the two protective assessments. The case is not important from the perspective of understanding the substantive technical rules relevant to the tax arrangement. But it does confirm when HMRC may properly make an SDLT determination and what the taxpayer can do in response.

To read the case, click here.


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Sean Randall

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