In an important ruling for charities, the Upper Tribunal has decided that the relief that they are normally granted from stamp duty land tax will only be available where they obtain the entirety of the beneficial interest in a purchased property.
Two property buyers had claimed partial relief from stamp duty on the basis that the beneficial interests in various purchased properties were owned jointly, as tenants in common, by a charity or by a minister of the Crown and one or more others who did not fall into either of those categories.
Relief was sought in proportion to the charitable or ministerial beneficial interests in the properties. However, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) had refused relief on the basis that it was only available in the case of joint property purchases where all of the purchasers were entitled to the relief.
Upholding HMRC’s arguments, the Upper Tribunal ruled that each of the property purchases was a single land transaction and, since the purchasers were not all either a charity, charities or a minister of the Crown, the claims for relief from stamp duty failed.