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Couple Lose Mixed Use Appeal for £3M Property

Published by Prerana
Published Date: May 9, 2024

A couple's attempt to receive a significant Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) refund has ended after a legal battle. A couple claimed £104,000 in reimbursement, asserting that a part of their 22-acre property, which was often visited by "troublesome cattle," was eligible for Mixed Use Relief. However, after a series of deliberations, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) delivered a verdict that crushed their hopes of reclaiming the substantial sum.

Why Did HMRC Disagree with the Couple?

A couple bought a £3,075,000 property that included a large house, a converted barn, a cottage, and 22 acres of land on 7 May 2021. They paid £258,750 as part of the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), claiming Multiple Dwellings Relief.

However, they then tried to claim back £104,433 under Paragraph 34 of Schedule 10 of the Finance Act 2003, claiming their property was Mixed Use. But HMRC rejected the claim, stating that the entire property was only used for residential purposes and not commercial ones.

Couple lose battle with HMRC

Nonetheless, the couple continued to claim that they were eligible for a Mixed Use Relief. They argued that 18 acres of their property were used for grazing cattle, which justified this relief. So, they took this matter to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT).

The tribunal had to decide if this land could be classified as solely residential or if it also served a commercial purpose. Despite the presence of livestock, the tribunal ultimately determined that the land was an integral part of the residential property and dismissed the notion of distinct commercial utilisation.

Legal Interpretations

The tribunal's decision was primarily based on legal interpretations regarding the definition of residential property under the law. According to Section 116 of Schedule 4ZA, a property can be categorised as residential if it has a dwelling and associated grounds.

The judges emphasised that despite the presence of cattle, the land's primary function remained tied to the residential aspect of the property. Furthermore, the tribunal's stance was reinforced by past rulings, which established that the property's predominant use was residential.

Conclusion

The couple’s attempt to receive a significant SDLT refund has resulted in disappointment, as the tribunal has confirmed that the property is classified as residential. Despite Mixed Use arguments, the legal interpretations and precedents have played a significant role in the outcome of this case. As this situation comes to an end, it serves as a reminder of the complexities of tax law and the nuances involved in determining property classifications.

Prerana
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