The real estate sector is one which is heavily influenced by changes in market trends and consumer habits.

There is however one common theme for all industry stakeholders. Regardless of whether you are an investor, developer or owner, indirect taxes including VAT and Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”) can always create significant issues.

One of the most complex sectors, careful consideration needs to be given to structuring arrangements and transactions. Getting it wrong can prove expensive, and with HMRC increasing its focus on the real estate sector and continuing to target the market, penalty and interest charges can create additional and unwanted costs.

It is therefore important to seek professional guidance in advance and plan ahead.

Smith Cooper’s team of specialists are proactive in managing tax costs for all industry stakeholders, offering a comprehensive range of indirect tax services to ensure you remain compliant and mitigate any exposure to unnecessary tax.

Indirect Tax Services

We have extensive experience of advising across all areas of the real estate sector including:

Development & Construction

  • Residential PRS developments
  • VAT efficient promotion agreements
  • VAT reliefs for charities and
    not-for-profit organisations
  • Education and care home facilities
  • Mixed residential and commercial use developments
  • Forward funding arrangements
  • Serviced plot developments
  • Golden brick transactions
  • SDLT reliefs and refunds
  • VAT Capital Goods Scheme calculations
  • Reverse charge on construction services


  • Sale and purchase of investment properties
  • TOGC’s
  • Options to tax
  • Business rates reviews
  • Sale and leasebacks


  • VAT efficient structures for new builds
  • Reducing VAT costs and improving cash flow
  • Conversions of commercial properties
  • SDLT reliefs
  • DIY housebuilder scheme

From compliance reporting and in-depth process reviews, to general consultancy and advice on transactions, our specialist VAT team offer a range of bespoke VAT services that can be tailored to meet your requirements. Get in touch with our experts today.