SDLT and the higher threshold interest

A company which is purchasing residential property is liable to pay the higher threshold rate by virtue of Sch 4A of FA 2003, in effect from 12 February 2015, if the proeprty is to be occupied by a director of the company.

A non corporate buyer will not suffer that higher rate.

So the higher threshold could be avoided by the company making a loan to the director.

There would be a Corporation Tax cost if the loan is not repaid within 9 months of end of the company’s accounting period, but that is repayable by HMRC as and when the loan is repaid - so there is a cash flow issue but not ultimately a cost.

There would be a benefit in kind charge on the borrower - if interest is not charged at proper rate.

Does anyone see any other problems in what I have proposed as a solution to the higher threshold SDLT ?

Simon Leney
Cripps LLP