Our new industry-first partnership is set to reduce mounting PI premiums and protect conveyancing firms from costly SDLT calculation errors

Julie Edge | 20-Oct-2021

We have partnered with tax specialist firm, Compass, integrating their industry first compliant SDLT calculator into our suite of online products and services for the conveyancing industry.

Many in the sector are concerned about the growing number of claims against conveyancers for incorrect calculations which is driving a rise of up to 30% in PI insurance costs.

According to SDLT advisors at Compass, an estimated £2bn of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is overpaid to HMRC due to the complicated and often confusing nature of the tax each year. In the last year alone, Compass has recovered over £14m on behalf of its clients, the majority of which are individuals incorrectly paying thousands of pounds of unnecessary tax.

We know that compliance remains firmly at the top of the agenda for law firms across the UK.  However, many firms don’t realise that systematic errors are being made  – some four out of ten SDLT returns are proving to be incorrectly calculated which has prompted a rise in claims from buyers who receive significantly higher SDLT bills then expected – or are chased for underpayment.

Any form of tax irregularity should be taken seriously. Currently, many solicitors rely upon HMRC’s own SDLT calculator which merely provides a guide which cannot be wholly relied upon. HMRC also confirmed that the calculator provides the correct stamp duty bill and that is it more accurate than its relatively simple ‘guideline’ calculator.

Our partnership with Compass offers conveyancers access to a fast, effective, and accurate method for assessing the SDLT/LTT due on any property transaction, available directly through our secure X-Press ICOS web-based interface – taking away the headache and worry of incorrect calculations.

Designed by tax experts, the service is constantly updated to reflect the very latest SDLT position in UK law.

Compass Managing Director Chris Ward comments: “Our service helps to ensure property purchasers pay the correct amount of SDLT utilising all available reliefs whilst taking full PI responsibly and at the same time ensuring CQS standards are fully complied with by the user firm.”

Clients using our ICOS system will see high risk calculations automatically flagged – giving you the option to request further expert information or advice before proceeding – providing peace of mind and protection for all parties.

To find out more please contact your local X-Press office https://xpresslegal.co.uk/find-your-local-office/