Change in submission process of SDLT1 form affecting users of case management systems

HM Revenue and Customs informed the Society, at short notice, of a change in the process for submission of stamp duty land tax form SLDT1.

The change only affects users of case management systems in that all SLTD1s must now carry a barcode. In view of the tight timescale – the change came into effect on 1 July – HMRC will accept non-barcoded forms for a short period. Unfortunately the length of this period is unspecified but prior notice will be given of its conclusion and the Society will keep the profession informed.

The barcode requirements mean that after printing, and before submission, there should be no handwritten alterations other than the purchaser’s signature because those additions will not be incorporated in the barcode. This could lead to faulty SDLT8s being generated. 

The Society can assure members that, through its Conveyancing and Tax Law Committees, there have been extensive and regular meetings with HMRC to address this and other issues. 

The Revenue has acknowledged that there are still significant performance issues. The Society has produced a top 10 dos and don’ts circular: see the March Journal at page 61, or contact James Ness at the Society on 0131 476 8174.

While the Society acknowledges the co-operation and efforts made by HMRC staff, despite problems with resources and technology, the basic service still has difficulties.  A letter has recently been sent to the Chancellor and a meeting arranged to discuss the problem with a view to the issues being reported directly to Ministers.

Caroline Flanagan, Society President, recently met with the Presidents of the Law Societies of England & Wales, and Northern and Southern Ireland. SDLT was discussed and there is shared concern at the present service level. 

No real improvement is likely until the launch of the e-submission channel. This was due in April 2005 and then summer 2005. The end of the year seems to be a viable guess.

The special urgency 16th day service and the personal presentation service will ensure minimum risk to the profession and clients in the coming months.

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