5 May 2011 by Louise Dawson

Stamp Duty on Fixtures and Fittings

When a purchaser agrees to purchase a property, sometimes part of the price paid is attributed to fixtures and fittings, but how does this affect your stamp duty?

If an item is regarded as a fixture or part of the land, it is taxable. This therefore depends on the degree of annexation, with emphasis being placed on the purpose of the item.

This is contrasted with a chattel, which is a moveable object that will not attract stamp duty land tax.

Any apportionment made between the property price and the cost of the fixtures and fittings costs will not be correct unless it was arrived at on a just and reasonable basis, regardless of what may be agreed in the contract.

A purchaser is responsible for the accurate completion of their land transaction return (which is the form submitted to the Revenue with the stamp duty payment) and HM Revenue & Customs can make enquiries as to the accuracy of any return. Where a deduction has been made for chattels, the Revenue may therefore investigate whether those items fall within the definition of chattels rather than fixtures.

Whilst there is no comprehensive list available, HM Revenue & Customs have confirmed that the following items will normally be regarded as chattels:-
• carpets (fitted or otherwise)
• curtains and blinds
• free standing furniture
• kitchen white goods
• electric and gas fires (provided that they can be removed by disconnection from the power supply without causing damage to the property)
• light shades and fittings (unless recessed)
• plants growing in pots or containers

The following items will not normally be regarded as chattels:-
• fitted kitchen units, cupboards and sinks
• agas and wall mounted ovens
• fitted bathroom sanitary ware
• central heating systems
• intruder alarm systems
• plants, shrubs or trees growing in the soil

14 April 2011 by

Divorce lawyer’s charges

With the proposed changes to the scope and availability of Legal Aid, combined with the recent recession and ever increasing cost of living, it seems inevitable that more and more people are going to have to fund their divorce cases themselves, but with less money to do it with.

5 May 2011 by

Ensure to Insure from exchange

The new Standard Conditions of Sale (Fifth Edition) are in the process of being incorporated into all new residential property contracts.

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