HM Revenue & Customs has recently revealed that 20 per cent of people who complete the paper version of the stamp duty form (SDLT1) make errors. This leads to delays in the certificate being produced and can incur extra costs.
Only four per cent of the SDLT1 forms received by HMRC are completed on paper, with the remainder completed online. Of the errors made, the most common relate to those questions asking about the purchaser, while another frequently reported blunder is completing boxes that don’t need to be filled in, leading to the wrong information being received by HMRC.
According to HMRC, online filing of a SDLT1 removes the likelihood of errors being made, as the system has intelligence built in to match data and provide prompts to help a person answer questions. The return can only be submitted once all relevant fields are completed. HMRC is calling for all SDLT1 forms to be completed online to reduce the number of errors and delays.
When do you need to complete a SDLT1?
A Stamp Duty Land Tax form has to be completed when you transfer or buy land or property. If any Stamp Duty Land Tax is due, it has to be paid within 30 days of the ‘effective date’ of the transaction taking place, usually the completion of the transfer or purchase.
What happens when a SDLT1 is completed?
Once the SDLT1 is boxed off, it can be posted to HMRC with a payment, if stamp duty land tax is due. A certificate (SDLT5) will be sent out to you, which you will require when you request title documents or register with the Land Registry. If you complete and submit an online form, the certificate will be sent electronically so it can be printed off.
Benefits of filing online
There are tons of benefits to filing online! You will be prompted by the system to answer relevant questions and be provided with a help section if you need it.
Any obvious errors will be detected by the system, and the form won’t be submitted until they are all corrected. Once the form has been submitted, you will be reassured that it has been received by HMRC within the relevant deadline.
This is also minimises the chance of a late filing penalty being incurred. What’s more, rather than having to wait for the SDLT5 to be posted to you, it can be printed off immediately.
Completing documents for HMRC can be complex. If you need assistance, why not contact us here at The Accountancy Partnership?
What’s your experience of filing online? Let us know by leaving a comment.
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