Stamp Duty penalties: from 1 October 2014 there are revised penalties for late stamping.

Stamp Duty is a tax on paper instruments and is not to be confused with Stamp Duty Land Tax

Lateness Penalty
Up to 12 months 10% of duty, capped at £300
12 to 24 months 20% of duty
More than 24 months 30% of duty

 

A penalty may be appealed within 30 days on the grounds that the taxpayer has a reasonable excuse for submitting a return late. 

HMRC lists the following as examples of what sort of excuses it considers "reasonable". 

From HMRC:

Some examples of a 'reasonable excuse' include:

  • You can show that you posted your documents in good time, and that due to industrial action at the Post Office or other document carrier they were lost or delayed.
  • The original document was destroyed beyond use in your solicitor's office due to fire, flood or another natural disaster.
  • Your solicitor suffered a serious illness which prevented them from controlling their business and private affairs.
  • Your solicitor died.

Some examples of excuses that HMRC will not accept as reasonable include:

  • Your solicitor was waiting for you to pay the Stamp Duty, or another solicitor was due to pay it.
  • You were waiting for a valuation, in this situation you should send in your documents while the valuation is being decided.
  • The delay was caused by the vendor's solicitor.
  • There was a disagreement between your solicitor and the vendor's solicitor.
  • You were abroad and could not sign the documents, in this situation you should arrange a Power of Attorney so that someone else can sign on your behalf.
  • The documents were held by another government department, for example the Land Registry.

Note that if the reason for the delay was a personal one, HMRC will not accept it as reasonable if it did not prevent you from dealing with your other affairs.

Bear in mind that each case will need to be decided according to its own merits and HMRC's view is only its own view: the tribunal may hold a different opinon.

See HMRC penalties for Stamp Duty returns and payment