Update - Revenue consults on new Stamp Duty Land Tax

The Finance Bill 2003 provides the framework for the new Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) which should take effect from 1 December 2003. This will replace much of the existing stamp duty regime. The Finance Bill is still being debated but meanwhile various strands of consultation are on-going, namely: lease duty, complex commercial transactions, partnerships and regulations. The Inland Revenue's website (www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk) outlines progress on these consultations.

It seems from the consultation, which is expected to stretch into the summer, that some practical difficulties have yet to be overcome in order to create a viable system. The Revenue seems particularly keen to hear about alternative suggestions that may differ from the model outlined in the Finance Bill, but which still meet the main objectives of the new tax. There are doubts about how much will therefore actually be in place by 1 December 2003.

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