When I received my initial quote from my conveyancing solicitor, they offered me a lot of extra optional services for extra fees. Being naive, I declined most of the additional services because obviously I want to keep all fees to a minimal. However, I did make an exception for the “no competition, no fee”, insurance; that’s just good sense.
Among the inflated list of extra services, there was an option for completing a form, the Stamp Duty Tax form (SDLT). The completion of this form is mandatory. They wanted a fee of £59.99 to do it on my behalf.
I thought, “what the hell? These fools want £60 to fill in a damn form? I can do that for nothing- how hard can a form be to complete”. They even came with guidelines, helping me along with every box. So I requested that they send me the form for me to complete.
I’m not entirely sure if ALL solicitors charge extra for that, but mine sure as hell did. But to be honest, I didn’t mind that much, because with my conveyancing solicitors rates, I’m still saving a hell a lot of money compared to other solicitors I got quotes from.
What is a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) form?
“SDLT is a tax on transactions, not documents. When you buy a property or land, you must fill in a Land Transaction Return (SDLT1) and send it to HMRC. Your conveyancer/solicitor will normally complete the return for you as part of handling the transaction. But legally, you are responsible for the information submitted.
Once the return has been processed and the appropriate amount of tax has been paid, a ‘Land Transaction Return Certificate’ (SDLT5) is issued (this replaces the old impressed stamp.) You’ll need this certificate for the Land Registries in UK and Northern Ireland, or for the Registrars of Scotland when applying for registration of title or documents.”
More information here
There are also supplementary forms (SDLT2,3, 4). They may not apply to you.
SDLT 2 – Where there are two or more sellers and or/two buyers.
SDLT 3 – Where land is involved and more space than that provided on the SDLT 1 is needed.
SDLT 4 – For complex commercial transactions and leases.
Your solicitor should guide you accordingly, and inform you which ones apply to you.
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) form IS COMPLICATED
I received the form today…DEAR LORD. Absolutely ridiculous!! Even with the guidelines, it was like rocket science (at least for me). I didn’t understand half the questions; I swear they intentionally made it as difficult as possible. In fact, I’m convinced the Government have a deal going on with all conveyancing solicitors where they get a cut of the charges for filling in that form just for making it so difficult, meaning they rely on all property buyers to get their solicitor to fill in the damn form.
Think you can handle it?
If you think you’re man enough to handle the form, here are is additional resources that may come in handy:
Example of the Stamp Duty Tax form (SDLT1) form:
SDLT1 guidelines to help you fill in the form:
Tips on how to fill in the form:
Anyways, so I sent the form back to them with a cheque of £59.99 (bas***ds).
My advice is that if you get the option of filling it in yourself, decline the offer, especially if you’re a property amateur like myself. Trust me. But hey, if you don’t believe me, try it; you’ll only delay the process for your solicitor since you WILL send a blank form back to him/her. Ha!