The following Tax practice note Produced in partnership with Charles Goddard of Rosetta Tax provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
FORTHCOMING CHANGE relating to SDLT for non-residents buying residential property: As announced at Budget 2018, confirmed at Spring Budget 2020 and following a government consultation that ran until 6 May 2019, Finance Bill 2020–21 will include provisions for an SDLT surcharge of 2% for non-residents buying residential property in England and Northern Ireland. The surcharge will apply from 1 April 2021 (subject to transitional provisions). For more detail, see News Analyses: Draft Finance Bill 2020-21—new rates of stamp duty land tax for non-UK residents, Draft Finance Bill 2020–21—Tax analysis—New rates of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) for non-UK residents from 1 April 2021 and Reforming SDLT—the government consults on a non-UK resident surcharge.
Owners of UK property may choose to hold their property through a company incorporated and resident for tax purposes outside the UK (referred to in this Practice Note as a non-UK company). There may be a number of non-tax reasons for this, including:
regulatory reasons, or
preventing information as to the ownership of property from becoming public
However, tax is often a contributing factor and non-UK companies used to be (prior to 6 April 2019) an effective vehicle, particularly for non-UK resident investors investing in non-residential property.
A key exception to this was in relation to residential property, where three key legislative changes made holding UK residential properties through offshore structures much
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