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Finance Act 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Land transactions

43Land transactions

(1)In this Part a “land transaction” means any acquisition of a chargeable interest.

As to the meaning of “chargeable interest” see section 48.

(2)Except as otherwise provided, this Part applies however the acquisition is effected, whether by act of the parties, by order of a court or other authority, by or under any statutory provision or by operation of law.

(3)For the purposes of this Part—

(a)the creation of a chargeable interest is—

(i)an acquisition by the person becoming entitled to the interest created, and

(ii)a disposal by the person whose interest or right is subject to the interest created;

(b)the surrender or release of a chargeable interest is—

(i)an acquisition of that interest by any person whose interest or right is benefitted or enlarged by the transaction, and

(ii)a disposal by the person ceasing to be entitled to that interest; and

(c)the variation of a chargeable interest is—

(i)an acquisition of a chargeable interest by the person benefitting from the variation, and

(ii)a disposal of a chargeable interest by the person whose interest is subject to or limited by the variation.

(4)References in this Part to the “purchaser” and “vendor”, in relation to a land transaction, are to the person acquiring and the person disposing of the subject-matter of the transaction.

These expressions apply even if there is no consideration given for the transaction.

(5)A person is not treated as a purchaser unless he has given consideration for, or is a party to, the transaction.

(6)References in this Part to the subject-matter of a land transaction are to the chargeable interest acquired (the “main subject-matter”), together with any interest or right appurtenant or pertaining to it that is acquired with it.

44Contract and conveyance

(1)This section applies where a contract for a land transaction is entered into under which the transaction is to be completed by a conveyance.

(2)A person is not regarded as entering into a land transaction by reason of entering into the contract, but the following provisions have effect.

(3)If the transaction is completed without previously having been substantially performed, the contract and the transaction effected on completion are treated as parts of a single land transaction.

In this case the effective date of the transaction is the date of completion.

(4)If the contract is substantially performed without having been completed, the contract is treated as if it were itself the transaction provided for in the contract.

In this case the effective date of the transaction is when the contract is substantially performed.

(5)A contract is “substantially performed” when—

(a)the purchaser takes possession of the whole, or substantially the whole, of the subject-matter of the contract, or

(b)a substantial amount of the consideration is paid or provided.

(6)For the purposes of subsection (5)(a)—

(a)a purchaser takes possession if he receives, or becomes entitled to receive, rents and profits, and

(b)it is immaterial whether the purchaser takes possession under the contract or under a licence or lease of a temporary character.

(7)For the purposes of subsection (5)(b) a substantial amount of the consideration is paid or provided—

(a)if none of the consideration is rent, where the whole or substantially the whole of the consideration is paid or provided;

(b)if the only consideration is rent, when the first payment of rent is made;

(c)if the consideration includes both rent and other consideration, when—

(i)the whole or substantially the whole of the consideration other than rent is paid or provided, or

(ii)the first payment of rent is made.

(8)Where subsection (4) applies and the contract is subsequently completed by a conveyance—

(a)both the contract and the transaction effected on completion are notifiable transactions, and

(b)tax is chargeable on the latter transaction to the extent (if any) that the amount of tax chargeable on it is greater than the amount of tax chargeable on the contract.

(9)Where subsection (4) applies and the contract is (to any extent) afterwards rescinded or annulled, or is for any other reason not carried into effect, the tax paid by virtue of that subsection shall (to that extent) be repaid by the Inland Revenue.

Repayment must be claimed by amendment of the land transaction return made in respect of the contract.

(10)In this section—

(a)references to completion are to completion of the land transaction proposed, between the same parties, in substantial conformity with the contract; and

(b)“contract” includes any agreement and “conveyance” includes any instrument.

45Contract and conveyance: effect of transfer of rights

(1)This section applies where—

(a)a contract for a land transaction (“the original contract”) is entered into under which the transaction is to be completed by a conveyance, and

(b)there is an assignment, subsale or other transaction (relating to the whole or part of the subject-matter of the original contract) as a result of which a person other than the original purchaser becomes entitled to call for a conveyance to him.

References in the following provisions of this section to a transfer of rights are to any such assignment, subsale or other transaction.

(2)The transferee is not regarded as entering into a land transaction by reason of the transfer of rights, but section 44 (contract and conveyance) has effect in accordance with the following provisions of this section.

(3)That section applies as if there were a contract for a land transaction (a “secondary contract”) under which—

(a)the transferee is the purchaser, and

(b)the consideration for the transaction is—

(i)so much of the consideration under the original contract as is referable to the subject-matter of the transfer of rights and is to be given (directly or indirectly) by the transferee or a person connected with him, and

(ii)the consideration given for the transfer of rights.

The substantial performance or completion of the original contract at the same time as, and in connection with, the substantial performance or completion of the secondary contract shall be disregarded.

(4)Where there are successive transfers of rights, subsection (3) has effect in relation to each of them.

The substantial performance or completion of the secondary contract arising from an earlier transfer of rights at the same time as, and in connection with, the substantial performance or completion of the secondary contract arising from a subsequent transfer of rights shall be disregarded.

(5)Where a transfer of rights relates to part only of the subject-matter of the original contract, subsection (8)(b) of section 44 (restriction of charge to tax on subsequent conveyance) has effect as if the reference to the amount of tax chargeable on that contract were a reference to an appropriate proportion of that amount.

(6)Section 839 of the Taxes Act 1988 (connected persons) applies for the purposes of subsection (3)(b)(i).

(7)In this section “contract” includes any agreement and “conveyance” includes any instrument.

46Options and rights of pre-emption

(1)The acquisition of—

(a)an option binding the grantor to enter into a land transaction, or

(b)a right of pre-emption preventing the grantor from entering into, or restricting the right of the grantor to enter into, a land transaction,

is a land transaction distinct from any land transaction resulting from the exercise of the option or right.

They may be “linked transactions” (see section 108).

(2)The reference in subsection (1)(a) to an option binding the grantor to enter into a land transaction includes an option requiring the grantor either to enter into a land transaction or to discharge his obligations under the option in some other way.

(3)The effective date of the transaction in the case of the acquisition of an option or right such as is mentioned in subsection (1) is when the option or right is acquired (as opposed to when it becomes exercisable).

(4)Nothing in this section applies to so much of an option or right of pre-emption as constitutes or forms part of a land transaction apart from this section.

47Exchanges

(1)Where a land transaction is entered into by the purchaser (alone or jointly) wholly or partly in consideration of another land transaction being entered into by him (alone or jointly) as vendor, this Part applies in relation to each transaction as if each were distinct and separate from the other.

(2)A transaction is treated for the purposes of this Part as entered into by the purchaser wholly or partly in consideration of another land transaction being entered into by him as vendor in any case where an obligation to give consideration for a land transaction that a person enters into as purchaser is met wholly or partly by way of that person entering into another transaction as vendor.

(3)As to the amount of the chargeable consideration in the case of exchanges and similar transactions, see—

  • paragraphs 5 and 6 of Schedule 4 (exchanges, partition etc), and

  • section 58 (relief for certain exchanges of residential property).

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