‘A Practical Guide to Stamp Duty Land Tax in England and Northern Ireland’ by Suzanne O’Hara


Paperback: 978-1-913715-20-5
Published: September 2020
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This publication is not designed as a comprehensive guide to the legalities of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT); there are other (very good) books for that. Rather, it attempts to boil the topic down to the key areas that a conveyancing solicitor needs to know.

The material is split into short topics and the headline points are brought to the fore, with the aim of creating an easily referenced step-by-step guide to the SDLT charging provisions and their practical application in everyday scenarios. In particular:

  • What constitutes a land transaction
  • Effective dates and when SDLT is chargeable
  • What and how much is chargeable
  • Rates of tax, including classification of residential and non-residential property and areas of uncertainty and potential tax saving opportunities

After establishing the basics, the book provides a comprehensive analysis on areas of particular relevance to conveyancers (as well as highlighting some potential risks). This includes:

  • 3% higher rates for additional dwellings
  • Available reliefs; including First Time Buyers Relief and Multiple Dwellings Relief
  • Transactions involving leases
  • Partnership transactions
  • 15% rate for acquisition of dwellings by non-natural persons


Up until relatively recently, SDLT was a pretty straightforward consideration. In the last few years, however, it’s become an increasingly complex area and busy solicitors often have neither the time nor the inclination to delve into the fine print. A medical analogy might be apt. When it comes to SDLT, the role of the solicitor is akin to that of a GP; they have a huge knowledge of ailments and can cure most, but occasionally they’ll have to refer to a specialist. This book will help with those quick diagnoses, whilst also signposting when it’s time to call in the surgeon.

This publication is written in simple language, with a focus on stripping back the complexities of the SDLT legislation. The result is a practical guide covering the main areas of interest and potential risk for conveyancers, to pick up and reference with ease. The publication includes everyday examples to help illustrate how the rules apply in practice and checklists to aid the application of the rules.


Suzanne O’Hara established and heads the Moore (NI) LLP specialist SDLT advisory service which provides specialist property tax advice to solicitors, private clients, accountants & other professionals. Suzanne has been advising on UK tax matters for 15 years, solely concentrating on property tax matters in recent years.

Suzanne read Law and Accounting at Queen’s University, Belfast. She is a Chartered Tax Adviser and also holds the Advanced Diploma in International Taxation, being awarded the Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers Medal for the highest marks in the Principles of Corporate and International Taxation paper. She also lectures for the Irish Institute of Tax on the Principles of International Tax and more recently for the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queen’s University.


Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Charging Provisions
Chapter 3. Chargeable Transactions
Chapter 4. Chargeable Consideration
Chapter 5. Amount of Tax Chargeable
Chapter 6. 3% Higher Rates for Additional Dwellings – SCHEDULE 4ZA FA 2003
Chapter 7. 3% Higher Rates for Additional Dwellings – Single Dwelling Transactions
Chapter 8. 3% Higher Rates for Additional Dwellings – Multiple Dwelling Transactions
Chapter 9. 15% Higher Rate for Acquisitions of Residential Property by Certain Non-Natural Persons
Chapter 10. Reliefs
Chapter 11. Relief for First-Time Buyers
Chapter 12. Multiple Dwellings Relief
Chapter 13. Leases – Schedule 17A
Chapter 14. Partnership Transactions: Schedule 15
Chapter 15. Anti-Avoidance