Filing a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) return online is quick and easy and can usually be completed in ten minutes. Almost all SDLT transactions are now filed this way.
This guide summarises the benefits of filing online - whether you choose to use HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) software or software from a commercial provider.
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Whichever software you use, completing the SDLT return online saves you time and associated costs as:
The online service provides an intelligent form which ensures you only answer the questions that apply to your specific transaction. This means you don't waste time reading or trying to answer questions that don't apply to you.
In addition, built-in validation means that if you give an inappropriate or inconsistent answer to a question an on-screen message appears so that you can correct your answer before moving on to the next question.
You don't need to wait to receive the SDLT certificate in the post.
As soon as you submit your return you receive an electronic SDLT5 certificate which you can print off right away and send to the Land Registry.
Filing online reduces mistakes when completing the form and you won't need to chase the progress of completed returns or worry about the SDLT5 getting lost in the post.
If you make a mistake or leave out information on a paper return it can take a while to sort out - sometimes weeks - leading to late filing, possible penalties and delays in getting the SDLT5 certificate.
With online filing you can prepare the return online in advance at a time that suits you, then submit it once the transaction is complete - there's no rush to get the forms in the post.
You can save on paper too - you won't need to keep stocks of forms.
You access the system and your information through the secure Government Gateway using a unique User ID and Password. You may already be familiar with this if you file VAT returns online. All data filed online is encrypted to the highest possible level.
As well as HMRC's Stamp Taxes online service there are many commercial software providers who provide an alternative service for filing your returns online. Many of these offer additional features not available from HMRC, such as case management and workflow, which help you keep track of your returns. You can choose a provider which best suits your needs.
Follow the link below for a list of commercial software providers whose products have been tested and confirmed as compatible with HMRC's Online Services.
Whether you decide to use HMRC's software or a commercial provider you need to register before you can start filing SDLT returns online.
Most users are solicitors or legal conveyancers filing returns on behalf of clients. If you are an individual filing a return without a solicitor or legal conveyancer you will need to complete a paper return. You can find out more about how to register for SDLT Online and how to complete a paper return by selecting from the links below.