With a potential 12% differential in SDLT rates as between the mixed use/commercial rates and the residential rates (once the 2% non-resident surcharge and the 3% higher rates for additional dwellings surcharge are both taken into account), it is tempting for buyers to push the boundaries. 

However, given the large number of valuable prime properties in central London that surround communal gardens, it was always unlikely that, once they properly considered the amendment to the relevant SDLT land transaction return, HMRC would allow the refund, as it would create a dangerous precedent. The tribunal found against the taxpayer on points of fact and legislative detail.

If you are going to amend your return, always assess where the boundary is and not where you’d like it to be.