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(1) In Schedule 3 to the Finance Act 2003 (transactions exempt from charge), in paragraph 4 (variation of testamentary dispositions etc) after sub-paragraph (2) insert—
“(2A) Where the condition in sub-paragraph (2)(b) is not met, the chargeable consideration for the transaction is determined in accordance with paragraph 8A(2) of Schedule 4.”.
(2) Schedule 4 to that Act (stamp duty land tax: chargeable consideration) is amended as follows.
(3) In paragraph 8 (debt as consideration), after sub-paragraph (1) insert—
(a) debt is secured on the subject-matter of a land transaction immediately before and immediately after the transaction, and
(b) the rights or liabilities in relation to that debt of any party to the transaction are changed as a result of or in connection with the transaction,
then for the purposes of this paragraph there is an assumption of that debt by the purchaser, and that assumption of debt constitutes chargeable consideration for the transaction.
(1B) Where in a case in which sub-paragraph (1)(b) applies—
(a) the debt assumed is or includes debt secured on the property forming the subject-matter of the transaction, and
(b) immediately before the transaction there were two or more persons each holding an undivided share of that property, or there are two or more such persons immediately afterwards,
the amount of secured debt assumed shall be determined as if the amount of that debt owed by each of those persons at a given time were the proportion of it corresponding to his undivided share of the property at that time.
(1C) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1B), in England and Wales and Northern Ireland each joint tenant of property is treated as holding an equal undivided share of it.”.
(4) In sub-paragraph (2) of that paragraph, for “sub-paragraph (1)” substitute “this paragraph”.
(5) After paragraph 8 insert—“Cases where conditions for exemption not fully met8A
(1) Where a land transaction would be exempt from charge under paragraph 3A of Schedule 3 (assents and appropriations by personal representatives) but for sub-paragraph (2) of that paragraph (cases where person acquiring property gives consideration for it), the chargeable consideration for the transaction does not include the amount of any secured debt assumed.
“Secured debt” has the same meaning as in that paragraph.
(2) Where a land transaction would be exempt from charge under paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 (variation of testamentary dispositions etc) but for a failure to meet the condition in sub-paragraph (2)(b) of that paragraph (no consideration other than variation of another disposition), the chargeable consideration for the transaction does not include the making of any such variation as is mentioned in that sub-paragraph.”.
(6) The amendments made by subsections (3) and (4) apply in relation to any transaction of which the effective date (within the meaning of Part 4 of the Finance Act 2003 (c 14)) is on or after the day on which this act is passed.
(7) The other amendments made by this section are deemed always to have had effect.
This Act received Royal Assent on 22 July 2004: for provision as to the application of the amendments made by sub-ss (3), (4) see sub-s (6) above and for provision as to the commencement of the amendments made by sub-ss (1), (2), (5) see sub-s (7) above.