House buyers will have just 14 days in which to pay their Stamp Duty Land Tax bill from the end of next week.
The current timescale in England is 30 days, but this reduces to 14 on March 1.
Anyone missing the new deadline will be liable to a fixed £100 penalty and interest.
Stamp Duty is payable on most freehold and leasehold property purchases and may also be payable on the grant, surrender or variation of a lease.
The deadline for filing the return and paying the tax runs from the ‘effective date’ of the transaction – usually completion.
Ann-Marie Clow, solicitor specialising in property at Greenwoods law firm, said: “Reducing the filing and payment window to 14 days makes the timescale for getting the right paperwork and funds in place extremely tight.
“Most property buyers and tenants rely on their solicitors or accountants to prepare SDLT returns and arrange SDLT payments on their behalf.
“However, SDLT is a self-assessed tax, meaning it is the individual party’s responsibility to ensure the information on their SDLT return is correct.
“From March 1, therefore, parties will need to act promptly when asked to approve and sign their SDLT returns and transfer SDLT funds, to avoid missing the 14-day deadline and facing an automatic £100 fine.”
Source: Property Industry Eye.