Currently SDLT returns should be filed and the tax paid 30 days after the effective date of the transaction, which is normally the completion of the land transaction.
The Government has announced that it will consult on changes to the SDLT filing and payment process, including a reduction in the filing and payment window from 30 days to 14 days after the effective date of the transaction. The reduced deadline is proposed to come into effect in 2017/18.
Changing the SDLT filing and payment process follows on from several changes HMRC has made recently in this area including digital tax accounts and the processing of LBTT in Scotland. The shortening of the window for filing and payment will mean that taxpayers and their advisers will have less time to consider what the appropriate rate of SDLT is and the availability of reliefs.
In practice, the SDLT due is already retained by solicitors and therefore the acceleration of the payment deadline will be most acutely felt by the advisers who will need to ensure that the shorter filing and payment deadlines are met.