From April this year, the month after next, we shall require to complete a Land and Buildings Transactions Tax return in order to complete an application for registration of title. The current HMRC Guidance for this return currently advises that “Guidance is currently in development and will be available in early 2015, well in advance of LBTT coming into effect.”
We recollect that when SDLT replaced Stamp Duty (in 2004?) a similar situation arose and there were no forms available for SDLT submissions when the new rules came into force and no registrations of title could proceed throughout Scotland for a period of some weeks, during which the Land Register lost contact with the reality of landownership. This of course was the very evil that inspired generation of Scottish solicitors to fear the charge of “failing to update the Registers” and the professional discipline that followed thereon. No issue was raised, however, when the inefficiency of the revenue authorities led to the wholesale breakdown of the system of land registration and is on the brink of doing so again.