Business tax – guidance

Stamp Duty Land Tax: paper returns

Forms and guidance to help you fill in and send HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) your Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) paper return.

SDLT no longer applies in Scotland. Instead you pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax when you buy a property.

Fill in the SDLT1 return

You can file paper SDLT returns, but filing SDLT returns online is faster, more secure and lowers the risk of errors or incomplete returns. If you’re not represented by a solicitor or an agent, you must use the paper return.

For most straightforward cases, such as simple residential conveyances, the SDLT1 is all you’ll need. Order the SDLT1 online or by phone.

Send the completed SDLT1 together with payment of any SDLT that’s due on the transaction. No other paperwork is needed as the SDLT1 includes a payslip.

For more complicated transactions you may need to fill in more forms.

Each SDLT1 form and payslip has its own Unique Transaction Reference Number (UTRN) printed on it, so you can only use it for that particular transaction. You can’t use photocopies of the SDLT return for different transactions.

See the SDLT1 guidance notes to help you fill in the paper return and forms.

HMRC reject returns (SDLT1, 3 or 4) that don’t include a valid local authority code.

Transactions that need extra forms

You may have to fill in extra forms as well as the SDLT return. These are:

  • SDLT2 if there are either more than 2 buyers or more than 2 sellers
  • SDLT3 if either more than one property is bought or, there’s only one property but you can’t fit all the address details into the space given on the SDLT1 form
  • SDLT4 if there’s a complicated lease, multiple grants of lease or a complicated commercial transaction

Order extra forms

Order forms SDLT2, SDLT3 and SDLT4 online or by phone.

SDLT 2 more than 2 purchasers or vendors

If there are more than 2 buyers or sellers fill in a separate form SDLT2 to give details of additional sellers or buyers. If the number of additional sellers or buyers combined is more than 99, complete a schedule for the rest. The schedule should include all the details asked for on form SDLT2.

SDLT 3: more than one property

When the transaction involves more than one property, fill in form SDLT1 and form SDLT3 for each additional property. If there are more than 100 properties in total, complete a schedule for the rest. The schedule should include all the details asked for on form SDLT3.

SDLT4: complicated leases, commercial transactions and some residential situations

Fill in form SDLT4 as well as form SDLT1 if any of the following applies:

  • the land or property transaction is part of a business sale agreement
  • the buyer is a company
  • you’ve asked HMRC for advice on how the law applies to the transaction, using Clearances and Approvals 1 (CAP1), or another route
  • any part of the consideration is dependent or uncertain
  • arrangements have been made with HMRC under the deferment provisions
  • there are mineral rights reserved

Check if you’ll need to fill in this form if the transaction:

  • is the grant of a new lease or exchange of missives of let
  • relates to the grant of multiple leases

Fill in an extra form for each lease. If the transaction involves more than 100 properties, complete a schedule for the rest of the properties. The schedule must include all the details asked for on form SDLT4 and in SDLT4 guidance notes.

When you submit your return, if it’s correct and complete, you’ll get a SDLT5 certificate. Post it to the Land Registry with your application for registration.

Avoid mistakes and delays when filling in the paper return

When HMRC gets your SDLT return they’ll check to make sure the information you’ve given is clear, correct and complete. If anything’s missing, wrong or unclear, they’ll write to you using form SDLT8 for the correct or missing information and won’t send you a SDLT5 certificate until you’ve given it.

Filling in your SDLT return online will ensure your return is correct and complete as you can’t submit it if it isn’t. You avoid the risk of missed filing deadlines, penalties and late payment charges that can happen if you make a mistake on a paper return.

When and where to send the return

In case of postal delays, allow at least 3 working days for your return to reach HMRC.

You must send HMRC your SDLT return and any tax due within 30 days of the effective date of the transaction to:

HM Revenue and Customs SDLT
L30 4RN

Or you can send it using DX to:

Rapid Data Capture Centre
Bootle 9

You shouldn’t include any other correspondence with the SDLT return as this may delay HMRC sending you the SDLT5 certificate.

Send any other correspondence to the Birmingham Stamp Office.

Pay your SDLT

Pay SDLT electronically using the reference number shown on your payslip, even if you don’t file your SDLT return online.

The UTRN for the transaction is in the ‘reference’ box on the payslip. Keep this safe because:

  • you’ll need it to pay your SDLT
  • HMRC use it to trace your SDLT return and payment if you have a query

If you made a mistake on your return

Amend an SDLT return within 12 months of the filing date

If you made a mistake when you filled in your SDLT return, you’ve 12 months after the filing date to amend it. You can correct some minor errors by post or by phone . For other more substantial errors, for example, where the underlying identity of any buyer or the property details needs changing or where the new effective date is after the date of notification, you must both:

  • order a new SDLT1 and file a new return with the correct information
  • write to Birmingham Stamp Office giving reasons for the new return and quote the UTRN of the incorrect and correct returns

Amend by post

Write to Birmingham Stamp Office and explain what you want to amend. Include a copy of your SDLT return. The Stamp Office will write back confirming the amendment and tell you if you need to take any further action.

Amend by phone

Call the Stamp Duty Land Tax helpline and give your UTRN to the adviser. Tell them what to correct. If they can’t make the amendment over the phone, or if a repayment is due because of your amendment, they’ll tell you what to do next.

If the amendment means you paid the wrong tax

If you paid the wrong tax you can:

  • ask for a repayment if you’ve paid too much,
  • pay the amount you’ve underpaid right away if you’ve not paid enough - you pay interest on this from the filing date, when the tax was originally due

HMRC can make an enquiry into your amended return up to 9 months after you’ve made an amendment. If you got a repayment but the amount you were repaid wasn’t due, you must pay it back.

Amend a return when HMRC open a formal enquiry

You can still amend your return after HMRC has started to make an enquiry but your amendment can’t take effect until after the enquiry is finished. If, at the end of the enquiry, HMRC find that your return is incorrect you’ll be told how to amend it. HMRC will take into account any amendment you’ve already asked for.

If you’ve made a mistake on your SDLT return that’s more than 12 months old

HMRC Stamp Taxes can amend a buyer’s name, but can’t make amendments that change either the underlying identity of any buyer or the property details.

You can’t correct any other mistakes on your SDLT return more than 12 months after the filing deadline. You may still be able to claim a refund if the mistake means you’ve paid too much SDLT.

To ask HMRC to amend a return older than 12 months write to Birmingham Stamp Office explaining what the error is, how it happened. Include a copy of your original return.

If you’ve sent a return in error or sent a duplicate return

If you send a return for a transaction that doesn’t need a return or a duplicate return, write to Birmingham Stamp Office to ask them to disregard it.

Include the following information:

  • the UTRN
  • the reason(s) why they should disregard the return
  • whether you have used the SDLT5 certificate to register the transaction

If you’ve filed an unnecessary or duplicate return and incurred a penalty charge that you want to dispute appeal in writing. This must be within 30 days of the date on the penalty notice.

Claim a refund

The deadline for claiming back tax you’ve overpaid is 4 years from the effective date of the transaction. This is usually the completion date.

Claim the refund by writing to Birmingham Stamp Office. Quote the UTRN and include a copy of the original SDLT return with your claim and:

  • explain why you think you’ve overpaid
  • say what parts of the SDLT return were wrong
  • give revised figures

HMRC will pay the refund to you unless you write to give your permission to pay it to someone else, eg your solicitor or agent.

If you’ve underpaid SDLT

If you’ve underpaid SDLT tell HMRC as soon as you realise. If you don’t, you may have to pay a penalty. You’ll normally have to pay interest on any SDLT you pay late.

Add extra details to a paper SDLT certificate

If the mistake on the SDLT certificate is small, you can phone the Stamp Taxes helpline and ask an adviser to amend the SDLT return. They’ll send you the correct certificate.

You can make the following changes by phone. Correct:

  • buyer details on either questions 59 or 70 of the SDLT1 paper return
  • question 26 or 72 of your paper return if you’ve got a SDLT8 telling you you’ve made a mistake
  • a spelling error in the property address

If the error is more fundamental you’ll need to write to Birmingham Stamp Office to ask them to correct it. For example, write if you want to add or remove a buyer, claim a refund or change the number of titles.

When you write, include a copy of the SDLT return.