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HMRC internal manual

Stamp Duty Land Tax Manual

Introduction to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT): The tax - FA03/S42

SDLT became effective from 1 December 2003.

The General Anti Abuse Rule (GAAR) (HMRC website), introduced from 17 July 2013 when the Finance Act 2013 was passed applies to SDLT.

(Please see HMRC website @ for more information)

SDLT is a process now, check later system with compliance powers and rights of appeal, in line with those for Income Tax and Corporation Tax. See SDLTM80000+.

The tax is limited to the acquisition of land situated in the UK, the boundary being the low water mark of every part of the UK which borders the sea.

It does not extend to the bed of the territorial sea but piers, jetties and similar structures, with one end attached to the UK, are part of the UK.

SDLT is chargeable on the acquisition of a chargeable interest whether or not evidenced in writing. If a contract is substantially performed before formal completion the charge arises at the time of substantial performance. See SDLTM07900 

Provided the land acquired is in the United Kingdom (from April 2015 SDLT will no longer apply to land transactions in Scotland, these will instead be subject to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax. Please see the Scottish Government website @ ) the tax is chargeable wherever the transaction is effected and whatever the residence of the parties.

SDLTM00200+ provides detailed guidance on chargeable transactions.