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Stamp duty land tax liability of a farm bought for development

22 March 2020
Issue: 4737 / Categories: Tax cases
Pensfold (TC7609)

The taxpayer a Cayman Islands company bought a farm in 2017 with the intention of developing it into an eco/agritourism business. The stamp duty land tax return was submitted claiming the property was non-residential and that relief from the higher rate (FA 2003 Sch 4A para 5B) was due.

After an enquiry into the return HMRC concluded the property was residential and no relief was due. It also issued a penalty. The taxpayer appealed.

The taxpayer’s project was delayed because of the need to study the state of the land and also because of the SDLT enquiry.

The First-tier Tribunal found the taxpayer had acquired the farm with the intention of setting up a qualifying trade. The intention was important and the plans showed that the farm would be available to the public ‘on at least 28 days in any calendar year’.

On HMRC’s assertion that plans...

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