Reminder of reduced time to pay SDLT and file SDLT returns

Author: Hamilton Forrest

Hamilton Forrest, Partner, Fladgate LLP (


From 1 March 2019, the current 30 day time limit to pay SDLT and file SDLT returns in England and Northern Ireland will in most cases be reduced to 14 days.

This new 14 day time limit will apply to:

  • all land transactions with an “effective date” on or after 1 March 2019; and
  • all land transactions with an “effective date” on or after 1 March 2019 but which did not become notifiable until 1 March 2019 or sometime thereafter.

The effective date of a land transaction is generally the date of completion.  Where, however, a contract is substantially performed before completion that will give rise to an effective date.

A contract is substantially performed for these purposes when either:

  • the purchaser or a person connected with the purchaser takes possession of the whole or substantially the whole of the land; or
  • the whole or a substantial amount of the consideration is paid or provided.

All that said, the current 30 day pay and file time limit will continue to apply in certain circumstances where, following the filing of an earlier return, a further return is required.  One such circumstance is where a transaction is followed by a later linked transaction requiring a return or further return.

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