Forsters LLP has responded to the government's consultation on mixed-property purchases and Multiple Dwellings Relief (MDR).  

From HMRC's perspective, the widening chasm between a top rate of SDLT for pure commercial/mixed use of 5%, and an effective top rate of 17% (the 17% is the 12% rate plus the 3% higher rates for additional dwellings and the 2% NRSDLT surcharge) has increased the so-called "SDLT reclaim agent" business to "push the envelope" as to what is genuinely commercial and encourage taxpayers to revisit their SDLT returns, claim back SDLT, and make arguably unjustified professional negligence claims against their conveyancers.  

HMRC has been very successful in challenging questionable mixed-property claims and MDR claims at Tribunal, but this is not an efficient way of running a tax system as it creates huge uncertainty for taxpayers, advisers and HMRC.  

Whilst we may not have agreed with all of the proposals in the consultation paper - it is inevitable that the system will be changed. We hope that the new rules will be simpler to follow...