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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.

SDLT is a self-assessed tax operated on a process now, check later basis, with compliance powers and rights of appeal. 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 England and Northern Ireland 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 land, are part of the land.

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 England and northern Ireland the tax is chargeable wherever the transaction is effected and whatever the residence of the parties.

SDLTM00200+ provides detailed guidance on chargeable transactions.