Stamp Duty Land Tax: appeal against a late filing penalty
When and how to appeal against a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) penalty and the deadlines for making an appeal.
SDLT no longer applies in Scotland. Instead you pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax Land and Buildings Transaction Tax when you buy a property.
Appeal against a late filing penalty
You can appeal against a penalty if you have a reasonable excuse for making your return late.
A reasonable excuse is something unexpected or outside your control that stopped you from meeting the deadline.
HMRC will only accept that you had a reasonable excuse for missing the deadline if what happened meant you couldn’t either:
- file the return yourself
- arrange for someone to file it for you
What counts as a reasonable excuse
A reasonable excuse could be:
- you posted your SDLT return in good time but it was lost or delayed in the post, eg because of floods or industrial action
- your adviser was seriously ill and couldn’t control their business or private affairs, eg a heart attack or stroke
- your adviser died
You must show that you’ve done everything you can to file your return as soon as possible.
What’s unlikely to be a reasonable excuse
HMRC won’t accept your excuse if what happened didn’t stop you from dealing with all your other affairs.
The following aren’t usually accepted as a reasonable excuse:
- you found it too difficult to fill in your return
- pressure of work stopped you dealing with your return
- your adviser was waiting for you to pay the SDLT, or another firm of advisers was paying it
- you were waiting for a valuation - you should use your best guess then amend your return when you have it
- the seller’s adviser caused a delay
- you were abroad and couldn’t sign your return - if you plan to go abroad you should arrange a power of attorney
How to appeal
HMRC reaches agreement and settles most appeals at this stage.
Send your appeal within 30 days of the date of the original penalty notice to:
Penalties Appeals Section
Birmingham Stamp Office
City Centre House
30 Union Street
If HMRC don’t settle your appeal by agreement
If you can’t settle the appeal you can appeal against a HMRC decision.
Pay your penalty
Pay the penalty even if you’re appealing against it. If you don’t pay and you lose your appeal, you’ll pay interest on the late payment of the penalty. If your appeal succeeds, HMRC repay the penalty with interest.