Founded on over 100 years experience
Cornerstone was founded in 2006 as a specialist tax boutique dedicated to providing advice to property buyers on their various tax liabilities. Over the course of the last decade and a half, we have refined our focus to concentrate almost exclusively as a firm on Stamp Duty Land Tax, one of the least understood and most complex taxes on the modern UK statue book.
In that time, we’ve seen many alterations to the Stamp Duty legislation, from the introduction of Multiple Dwellings Relief in 2011, the 3% ‘surcharge’ on second properties in 2016, the switch to a ‘slice’ system of assessment in 2017 and the recent introduction of a 2% surcharge on foreign investors buying UK property. Successive governments have sought to wield SDLT changes like this as a way of encouraging the market to behave in ways they desire, but more often than not any benefits are minimal and meanwhile another layer of complications have been added.
In 2016 when the 3% surcharge was introduced, the raft of issues which it caused and the flood of enquiries we experienced from both homebuyers and their legal and financial advisers caused us to take a deeper look at the system and realise that the issues at the heart of it were even deeper than we had previously appreciated. Since then, we have focused on helping out property lawyers and other property professionals as much as clients, seeking to educate the industry on a tax that’s badly misunderstood by many, and help ensure that clients pay the tax they owe, and not a penny more.
This complexity has led to many Overpayments of Stamp Duty and the fear of underpaying has prevented many people from looking for them, so a confusing situation made worse by a climate of fear created amongst taxpayers and professionals by HMRC “anti avoidance” rhetoric and powers. Ultimately its about getting it right – neither too high or too low – after all its your money.
We like to call it Property Tax, Properly Done. Our team of dedicated professionals includes Chartered Tax Advisers, ex barristers and solicitors, and financial advice specialists. Our firm has grown from a small boutique to a comprehensive specialist tax advice company with multiple locations and a growing staff.