This week’s contribution comes from Cornerstone Tax, for its response to the article: FOS fine highlights brokers at risk from advice ‘drift’ ‒ analysis.
It said: “The decision by the Ombudsman may seem harsh, but the whole case reflects how little is understood by most professionals in the property market about Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) as a whole.
“Consider that the solicitor consulted by the broker was incorrect on the matter, the further fact that the clients apparently didn’t realise that this was a tax they would require actual advice on and the fact that their own solicitor either didn’t advise them or didn’t draw sufficient attention to the fact that of the actual amount they had determined was due.
“The only way to ensure that clients are paying the correct amount is for them to consult an actual tax adviser, who will be able to advise of any exemptions, reliefs or additional charges which may be due, and upon whose advice the client can rely on this matter.
“Until awareness is properly raised among the public about the nature of SDLT, the fact that it is a tax, accessible like any other and for which they hold ultimate personal liability, then mistakes of this nature will keep being made.”