Five Reasons Compass is a no-brainer for Conveyancers

If your firm isn’t getting Stamp Duty right, the consequences could be devastating, for you and your clients

Stamp Duty might not be top of your conveyancing worry list at the moment, with an ongoing debate around changes to the TA6, a volatile mortgage market and a base rate which seems immoveable dragging property sales down, and yet, we’re here to tell you why it really should be.

  1. Like it or Not, it’s Your Responsibility

Stamp Duty is a personal tax, the liability directly tied to the purchaser and if your firm doesn’t have a specialist tax department you aren’t even permitted to give anything that might be construed as advice anyway.

And yet, your clients rely on you to calculate the figure, your membership of the CQS now requires you to show your working and provide an audit trail and your firm’s name is the one at the bottom of the submission form. Get the number wrong, and it can lead to headaches with your client, the regulator and even potentially mortgage lenders.

Use Compass, and not only will you get the right answer every time, but also the benefit of expert advice and the return being submitted by us instead of you.

  1. It’s easier than you might think to Get it Wrong

Stamp Duty has become a literal labyrinth since its inception, and the landscape of it continues to shift all the time. In the recent Spring Budget, the chancellor announced the abolition of Multiple Dwellings Relief. There’s an additional surcharge percentage on purchases by non-UK nationals and an exemption on First Time Buyers, with neither defined by a standard recognised anywhere else, and a surcharge on additional residential properties introduced in 2016 which still trips both buyers and solicitors up.

Unless you’re lucky enough to have a tax department or the budget to have your staff study continuously to keep on top of every Stamp Duty change as it happens, you’re going to need help.

  1. A quick answer is only useful if it’s also correct

The Advanced Mortgage Lending debacle demonstrated amply enough the dangers of a quick answer given to speed things along, and whereas it was the broker and not the law firm who fell foul of the regulator and a fine that time, clients, agents and brokers pushing for speedier answers on everything and instructions getting thinner on the ground, the temptation remains to give a glib answer. However, swift doesn’t have to mean risky, as long as you’re using the right tools, and can give you an edge in your local market.

  1. Time is Money

Stamp Duty reclaims are the new PPI. Dozens of claim farms already exist, bulk-contacting homeowners with claims about overpaid sums of Stamp Duty and the riches that might await them.

Whether these firms even have experience in this area or are simply jumping on a lucrative bandwagon is difficult for a client to tell, but even if a claim of overpayment has no merit, do your fee earners and admin staff have the time and capacity to spend rebutting baseless claims and investigating potentially legitimate ones? To say nothing of the potential damage done to your client relationship and reputation.

  1. Who doesn’t like Cheaper Premiums?

PII renewal is a painful time of year at the moment for most firms, with an average rise in premiums measured in double digit percentages. Fun fact: Firms who use Compass have seen their PII premiums actually fall. That’s right – using this simple tool which calculates Stamp Duty and mitigates your firm’s risk to zero also helps you save money on your PII.

The truth is, there’s only one reason your firm needs Compass, and that’s so that you can get on with the real work of conveyancing, and worry less about the potential for errors and the costs that they bring. We’d call that a no-brainer.

This article was submitted to be published by Compass as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Conveyancer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Conveyancer.

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