We have seen a nice house to buy, it's been on the market over a year at 279k.
I think that we are doing to offer 250k given the length of time on the market, our position (under offer to cash buyers in rented),falling prices in the area and the fact the vendor wants to move quickly.
If the vendor wants more than 250K, I was wondering if it would be OK/legal to offer to pay extra for fixtures /fittings /chattels in an attempt to avoid going over the SD threashhold?
There are quite a few things the vendor said he would be happy to leave "for a price" eg carpets, fitted blinds to all rooms, plantation shutters, nearly new fridge freezer, range oven, dishwasher,washerdryer, dining table and chairs etc.
Or is this classed as tax avoidance and not advisable?
We bought last year and the vendor provided a list of goods & chattels with prices. We then indicated what we wanted (blinds and curtains mainly) and what we didn't, then it went through the solicitor (so all above board). Get them to make a list and price it up, but also check (with the agent?) what might reasonably be included in the house price (built in stuff for example). It can certainly save a lot of hassle.
If you pay a reasonable price then it's perfectly legal. If you pay an inflated price instead of paying over £250k for the house (e.g. paying £5k for an ordinary cooker) then it's illegal and you could be fined. The tax people take an interest in houses that sell at the stamp duty limits so you can't assume they wouldn't catch you.
"All amounts payable for fixtures and fittings under the terms of the conveyancing contract must accurately reflect the value of any such items and in the event that the purchase conveyancing transaction is subject to scrutiny at any time following completion by Her Majestys Revenue and Customs, you must be able to demonstrate that the price paid for chattels was fair and accurate and not done to avoid payment of any stamp duty that may have been saved should the chattels price have been included in the purchase price paid for the property. Please remember that the value the revenue will agree to an item is based on secondhandvalue."