The Court of Appeal ruled a company that purchased a property on London’s Regent Street, then sold the leasehold interest to a partnership in which it had a 98% interest, would not be exempt from paying the tax.
All the scheme had achieved was to shift the obligation to pay SDLT from the company to its partnership, the court decided.
David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “This case shows that HMRC will challenge the designers of tax avoidance schemes, and those who use them, taking them to the highest court in the land if necessary.
“This is another excellent win that will protect the money of hard-working taxpayers.”
HMRC said successful court challenges against SDLT avoidance schemes have protected almost £400m of taxpayers’ money in the last year.