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Secret film shows how homebuyers can avoid millions in stamp duty

by William Robins on Dec 17, 2012 at 10:45

Secret film shows how homebuyers can avoid millions in stamp duty

A undercover sting has exposed how offshore companies can be used legally to save millions of pounds of stamp duty on the UK’s most expensive properties.

A secret film obtained by The Guardian shows an agent from property develop Oakmayne Properties explaining how a £27 million house can be bought legally using an Isle of Man-based special purpose vehicle (SPV), understood to be instrumental in avoiding stamp duty.

Oakmayne bought the leasehold for properties on London’s Cornwall Terrace from the Crown Estate and redeveloped them into luxury properties.

The paper said Oakmayne bought several of the houses using SPVs. Stamp duty on a house of £27 million would be worth around £1.35 million.

The footage was commissioned by nightclub Ministry of Sound which is in a planning dispute with Oakmayne.

Stamp duty can be avoided if the purchaser buys through a SPV rather than the property direct. As the SPV is offshore there is no record in the UK, on the Land Registry, that the property has changed hands and therefore no charge.

6 comments so far. Why not have your say?


Dec 17, 2012 at 11:43

Bought from the Crown Estate, so initially paid for by the British public.

Sale proceeds money goes to the Crown and the tax due to HMRC vanishes


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John Borgars

Dec 17, 2012 at 12:07

@ Anitaki

At the time of the sale, all income from the Crown estate went into the national exchequer.

Civil servants diverting cash from one bit of the government's accounts to another.

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stephen lyth

Dec 17, 2012 at 12:26

Isnt this what regulation should be all about and its not as if its even a new scheme, LOL

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Dec 17, 2012 at 13:26

@ stephen,

Yes, and "Dave" says we're 'All in it together' and l agree, we have certainly been "Dropped in it" by 'Dave' who can probably afford a £27,000,000 house (as long as there's a saving on the Stamp Duty)

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Alistair Cunningham

Dec 17, 2012 at 14:35

But won't this be pointless with the rules on 'non-natural' persons holding property?

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John Borgars

Dec 17, 2012 at 20:09

@ Anitaki

What has Dave got to do with a deal carried out in 2007?

Also Dave has not got nearly as much money as Tony and Cherie

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