Dear Her Majesty’s Treasury,

1. Please release any final explanatory notes to the Finance Act 2018.

2. Section 128 of Finance Act 2016 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2016... ) sets out the higher rates of stamp duty land tax for additional dwellings.

Paragraph 3(6) sets out the criteria for replacement of main residence relief.

This was amended by paragraph 2 of Schedule 11 to Finance Act 2018 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2018... ) which, in particular, inserted a new paragraph 3(6)(ba):
“(ba) immediately after the effective date of the previous transaction, neither the purchaser nor the purchaser’s spouse or civil partner had a major interest in the sold dwelling”

It also inserted a new paragraph 3(6A):
“(6A) Sub-paragraph (6)(ba) does not apply in relation to a spouse or civil partner of the purchaser if the two of them were not living together (see paragraph 9(3)) on the effective date of the transaction concerned.”

In the explanatory notes of the Finance Bill (https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio... ) (note that I can't find any final explanatory notes linked with the final Act which is why I request them in my FOI request here) on page 113 it states:
“8. Sub-paragraph 2(3) inserts new sub-paragraph 3(6A) into the main Schedule. This
will stop new sub-paragraph 3(6)(ba) applying if the spouses or civil partners are not
living together at the date of DISPOSAL.”

However the legislation refers to “the effective date of the transaction concerned” which is defined in paragraph 3(6)(a) as meaning the effective date of the purchased dwelling (rather than the sold dwelling referred to in 3(6)(b)) which seems to condradict the explanatory notes to the Bill.

So I am seeking clarification. Is paragraph 3(6)(ba) referring to a spouse/civil partner of the purchaser at the time of the disposal (the sold dwelling) (potentially a former spouse/civil partner), or a current spouse/civil partner of the purchaser at the time of the purchased dwelling (or both)?

Does sub-paragraph (6A) disapply sub-paragraph (6)(ba) where the spouse/civil partner of the purchaser at the time of the disposal retained a major interest in the sold dwelling, but is no longer a spouse/civil partner of the purchaser at the time of the purchased dwelling if:
(a) they were living together at the time of the sold dwelling but are not at the time of the purchased dwelling; or
(b) they were not living together at the time of the sold dwelling or the purchased dwelling; or
(c) they were not living together at the time of the sold dwelling but are at the time of the purchased dwelling (even though they are no longer married)?

Yours faithfully,

Brian Harrison

FOI Requests, Her Majesty’s Treasury

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