PSTAX: The Leading Land Tax Advisor to the Public Sector

Land taxes can add significant costs to your acquisition of land and property. Unlike VAT, land taxes cannot be reclaimed. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure you pay the right amount of land tax, using all available reliefs and exemptions.

PSTAX has a highly experienced and specialised team of land tax advisors dedicated to supporting public bodies with land taxes for many years. Our expertise enables us to minimise costs, maximise savings, and reclaim overpayments for land taxes over the past four years.

Contact Our Expert Team for your free consultation 

Why are councils choosing PSTAX for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) Refunds and Consultancy?

We are the leading SDLT advisor to the public sector, with a track record of practical, timely, and value-for-money advice. In 2020, PSTAX identified a little-recognised SDLT relief for local authorities. Since then, we have worked with scores of councils to educate them on this cost-saving opportunity, as well as helping many secure essential refunds of overpaid SDLT (see below).

 

UNPARALLELED EXPERTISE

Our team of highly experienced tax advisors brings decades of specialist experience in public body tax advice. They have a deep understanding of the particular rules affecting public bodies and the tax reliefs available to them. Our holistic and insightful advice empowers you to make informed and efficient choices to help demonstrate the most efficient use of public money, creating cost savings where appropriate and ensuring all actions are carried out in a safe and legal way.

 

RISK MANAGEMENT

Navigating land taxes can be complex and risky and requires expert knowledge. Engaging PSTAX mitigates risks, ensuring compliance and avoiding penalties. With indemnity insurance, supporting legal advice, and good contacts with HMRC, we offer peace of mind. Our involvement demonstrates reasonable care, buffers against reputational damage, and our pricing structure eliminates financial risk for the council.

ACCESS TO LEGAL AND POLICY CHANGES

As pioneers of public sector tax advice, we remain at the forefront of land tax regulations and policy changes, keeping you informed and compliant with the latest updates.

SWIFT AND EFFICIENT

PSTAX provides land tax advice in a timely and efficient manner, enabling clients to make informed decisions quickly. This can be particularly important when dealing with time-sensitive transactions and time-limited refund claims.

REFUNDS OF OVERPAID SDLT

We have a proven track record of securing SDLT refunds for local authorities, some exceeding £2 million. We uncovered this little-recognised relief in 2020 and are campaigning to raise awareness among all eligible councils to help them maximise all opportunities for financial health.

By engaging PSTAX for your land tax advice, you gain access to unparalleled knowledge, cost savings, risk mitigation, efficiency, and up-to-date information. Make informed decisions, ensure SDLT compliance, and potentially secure significant refunds of overpaid tax.

UK Land Taxes – Unveiling the Essentials

In the United Kingdom, as a property purchaser, you are likely to encounter one of three distinctive land tax systems, each contingent upon the property’s location.

  • England

    Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

  • Scotland and Northern Ireland

    Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT)

  • Wales

    Land Transaction Tax (LTT)

UK land taxes are typically calculated based on increasing portions of the property price that exceed specific thresholds. It’s important to note that residential and commercial properties have distinct arrangements for their land tax obligations.

While the landscape may seem complex, there’s good news – numerous exemptions and reliefs exist. However, it’s important to clarify that public bodies do not enjoy a general exemption from land taxes. Nevertheless, there are specific reliefs available to public sector and similar bodies.

At PSTAX, we specialise in guiding the public sector through the intricacies of UK land taxes. Our knowledgeable team is expert in the nuances of these taxes and can assist you in understanding the thresholds, exemptions, and reliefs that apply to your section 33 organisation’s situation.

  • "Extremely easy. The LAVAT advisors set up a meeting with me and explained exactly what documents I needed as evidence to support my claim. I wasn't even aware of one of the documents as it is not in my area of responsibility but the advisors told me what to ask the Housing Accountant for."

  • "The advisors were so easy to communicate with via email and always quick to respond to my questions, they drafted the letters for me, checked the documents I had for evidence so the work I had to do was minimal, which was great."

  • "They carried out the work on a no win no fee basis so for our council there was nothing to lose and everything to gain. We had full advice and end-to-end support. We are happy with the results, almost all the SDLT has been reclaimed."

SDLT refunds relating to purchases with public subsidy

The SDLT relief under Finance Act 2003 s71 was often overlooked by local authorities, and consequently, many have paid SDLT unnecessarily. It applies to both profit and non-profit registered providers of social housing when they purchase property with the assistance of a qualifying public subsidy.

All local authorities in England and Northern Ireland that have a social housing stock are required to be formally registered as ‘registered providers of social housing’, and the fact that local authorities are, by nature, not-for-profit bodies means that all local authority registered providers are eligible for full SDLT relief when they use specified ‘public subsidy’ funding sources to help with the purchase of property.

Public subsidy is defined as funding from the following specific sources:

  • National Lottery etc Act 1993 s25
  • Housing Act 1996 s18 (Social Housing Grants)
  • Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 s126 (Regeneration and Development funding)
  • Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 s19 (Homes England grant)
  • Greater London Authority grant
  • Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 Art 33 (SI 1992/1725)
  • Local Government Act 2003 for the provision of social housing (from 15 March 2023)  

The relief can be claimed on future purchases to avoid paying SDLT, but where the relief has been missed, and SDLT has already been paid, it is possible to seek a refund of the overpaid tax as long as it is still within four years of the land transaction.

Get in touch

PSTAX can assist with a review of past transactions and with the process of claiming refunds of overpaid SDLT.

0345 6861321