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HMRC internal manual

Stamp Duty Land Tax Manual

Reliefs: Charities relief

General overview FA03/S69 and FA03/SCH8

Relief from Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), similar to the relief from stamp duty, is available where a charity, or a charitable trust, purchases an interest in land, subject to certain conditions.

See SDLTM26010 for the conditions relating to charities and SDLTM26040 for the conditions relating to charitable trusts.

Provision is made for relief previously granted on a transaction to be clawed back if, within three years of the transaction, the charity ceases to be a charity or uses the property for purposes other than charitable ones. See SDLTM26020. The same conditions apply to charitable trusts, see SDLTM26050.

The relief is only withdrawn if the charity, or charitable trust, still owns the land at the time of the disqualifying event.

If a charity or charitable trust disposes of land, which has been the subject of a claim to relief, within three years there is no clawback.

See SDLTM26030 for guidance relating to partial relief available to both charities and charitable trusts where the conditions to claim full relief are not met.

Each claim to relief will be examined on its own merits.

Generally it would be accepted that the purchase of property by a charity

  • registered with the Charity Commissioners in England and Wales
  • recognised as a charity by HMRC Charities in Scotland or Northern Ireland

which is not bought for re-sale, qualifies for relief.

However some charities, including churches, universities and colleges, either cannot register, or are not required to register, with the Charity Commissioners.

No partial relief available

Where a chargeable interest is acquired by joint purchasers, charities relief is available only if

  • all the purchasers are charities or charitable trusts
  • the conditions as to the use of the property are satisfied

If any of the joint purchasers is not a charity or a charitable trust then no relief is available.

The legislation does not provide for partial relief where some of the joint purchasers are charities or charitable trusts and some are not.