Stamp Duty Land Tax on Additional Dwellings – refunds due in exceptional circumstances

Posted on 17th June 2020 by Streets

Image to represent Stamp Duty Land Tax on Additional Dwellings – refunds due in exceptional circumstances

When a person buys a dwelling, they pay a higher rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if the property is not the only dwelling that they own. This is known as the Higher Rates for Additional Dwellings (HRAD).

A payment of HRAD will be refunded where the new property replaces the person's main home and the previous main home is sold within three years of buying the new home.

For most people three years is enough time to sell a previous main dwelling. However, the Government does not want people to face an additional tax charge as a result of circumstances outside of their control and has recently announced its intention to change the HRAD legislation so that taxpayers can receive a refund outside this three-year period in exceptional circumstances.

In order to qualify for a refund, the following conditions must be met:

  • The new main residence was purchased on or after 1 January 2017
  • The taxpayer was prevented from selling their previous main residence before the expiry of the three-year time limit due to exceptional circumstance beyond their control
  • They sold the previous main residence as soon as they reasonably could after ceasing to be so prevented

HMRC states that the exceptional circumstances may include, but are not limited to:

  • The impact of Covid-19
  • Action taken by a public authority

More information on the scope of this extension to the three-year period, including examples, can be found in HMRC's Stamp Duty Land Tax Manual.

More information on how to apply for a refund can also be found on GOV.UK.

Please note that the above applies to homes sold in England and Northern Ireland. Wales and Scotland have their own land and property transaction taxes.


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The content produced and presented by Streets is for general guidance and informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal, tax, investment, financial or other advice. Furthermore, it should not be considered a recommendation or an offer to sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy any securities or other form of financial asset. The information provided by Streets is of a general nature and is not specific for any individual or entity. Appropriate and tailored advice or independent research should be obtained before making any such decisions. Streets does not accept any liability for any loss or damage which is incurred from you acting or not acting as a result of obtaining Streets' visual or audible content.


The content used by Streets has been obtained from or is based on sources that we believe to be accurate and reliable. Although reasonable care has been taken in gathering the necessary information, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information we publish and we accept no liability for any errors or omissions in material. You should always seek specific advice prior to making any investment, legal or tax decisions.

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