The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has warned that some claims being made by firms offering help with Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) refunds are too good to be true.
The CIOT says an increasing number of firms are contacting buyers of properties after completion of a purchase, suggesting that SDLT has been overpaid.
The most common issues raised are that multiple-dwellings relief (MDR) has not been claimed or that the buyer could have paid non-residential rates of SDLT (which are generally lower than residential rates) because the property was a mixture of residential and non-residential land.
The CIOT said: ‘SDLT is complicated and sometimes reliefs are overlooked, so it can be worth revisiting transactions if a letter is received.
‘However, many unsolicited approaches are indeed too good to be true and responsible taxpayers should act with caution and check independently whether a refund is due.
‘The suggested fee arrangements can also seem attractive as it appears that the claims are made on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. But it is important to remember that receiving a refund is not necessarily a win as HMRC may revisit the claim and deny that it was valid. In these circumstances, the fee may already have been paid.’