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HMRC’s guidance on the meaning of garden or grounds for SDLT

15 October 2019 / Patrick Cannon
Issue: 4716 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
Field or garden

Key points

  • There is a substantial difference between residential and non-residential rates of stamp duty land tax.
  • Unless there is commercial activity on part of the land it will be residential.
  • The Hyman case considered what constitutes the ‘grounds’ of a house.
  • The traditional or habitual use of that land can help to establish its true relationship to the building.
  • Other factors indicating that land is non-residential include when a non-domestic rateable value for the property has been assessed when non-domestic rates are collected or if the property has been classified as agricultural.


In my article ‘Keeping it quiet’ (Taxation 18 October 2018 page 12) I explained how HMRC had quietly changed its approach to stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on mixed-use property to make it more difficult to claim the (lower) Table B rates of SDLT in FA 2003 s 55 instead of the...

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