SDLT - "I was told I could get a refund" - Jonathan Lea Network

SDLT – “I was told I could get a refund”

Lawyers at the Jonathan Lea Network, Haywards Heath are investigating potential claims on behalf of clients encouraged by agents and consultants to claim Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) refunds whereby significant fees were paid to those facilitating the claims.

SDLT was properly paid on completing property purchase transactions. The specific circumstances of the purchase then gave rise to brokers suggesting refunds could be claimed via another organisation whom clients were put in contact with.

The organisation advising apparently specialised in tax advice. They signed clients up to arrangements which would permit them to deduct 30% of any refund secured.

Claims were initially successful and very large fees paid. There was very little work involved – apparently a few letters at most. Fees on one case the Jonathan Lea Network are dealing with amounted to just shy of £200,000.

It is clear there are several similar cases whereby HMRC make refunds then reverse their decision on refund leaving individuals having paid significant commissions to SDLT refund consultants. In such situations the consultants then refuse to refund fees. To add insult to injury HMRC are known to levy interest charges on the refund. In one case being looked at by lawyers, the interest alone claimed by HMRC is £90,000.

“Enquiries are at an early stage,” says Adrian Samuel, a senior solicitor at the firm heading up the investigation. “We are seeing big claims, big fees and big losses. There is considerable uneasiness about what was promised and the eventual result. Clients were apparently misled and badly let down”, Adrian believes.

Reviews on Trustpilot show many complaints related to certain advice providers. For confidentiality reasons, further details cannot be released at this stage.

Members of the public wherever they are in the UK are invited to contact the firm if they have had a similar experience and want to investigate (in confidence) whether there may be a claim or complaint to be made.

Several possible claims avenues are being looked at including negligence and fraud.

How we can help

If you would like to understand more about SDLT, our experienced solicitors can help. For most new matters, we offer a 20-minute introductory call to find out more and discuss the issues before providing you with a relevant fee quote.

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This article is intended for general information only, applies to the law at the time of publication, is not specific to the facts of your case and is not intended to be a replacement for legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before relying on any of the information given. © Jonathan Lea Limited 2024.

About Adrian Samuel

Adrian has a 25+ years legal career under his belt exclusively served in litigation and closely allied areas. He has a passion for innovation in professional firms believing lawyers must do more than they have always done and do much of it better.

The Jonathan Lea Network is an SRA regulated firm that employs solicitors, trainees and paralegals who work from a modern office in Haywards Heath. This close-knit retain team is enhanced by a trusted network of specialist self-employed solicitors who, where relevant, combine seamlessly with the central team.

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