Reliefs: Group Tax Bulletin article: Enquiries involving group relief claims
If the decision is taken to enquire into a land transaction return where the transaction is subject to a group relief claim, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will open an enquiry under paragraph 12 of Schedule 10 FA 2003 (see http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2003/30014--z.htm#sch10pt3). The enquiry must be made within 9 months of the filing date. Enquiries may cover all aspects of the land transaction return and will not necessarily be limited to the group relief claim itself.
The decision to enquire into a transaction will be made after the Revenue certificate (form SDLT5 or SDLT5E) is issued and will not therefore delay registration of title. But the issue of the Revenue certificate should not be taken as an indication that HMRC either accepts the validity of a group relief claim or has chosen not to enquire into that land transaction return.
Enquiries will consider all aspects of the transaction, including the group relief claim. Documents may be called for and these may include the instruments of transfer and related documents. HMRC may also ask for more information about the claim. In particular, evidence may be sought to show that the tests in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Schedule 7 were met.
If the evidence presented does not support the claim the self assessment will be amended to remove the relief.
Paragraph 1 of Schedule 7
Paragraph 1 of Schedule 7 to FA 2003 (see http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2003/30014--t.htm#sch7pt1) provides exemption from stamp duty land tax where, at the effective date of the transaction, the companies are members of the same group. Exemption extends to the grant of leases between group companies.