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Learn More About Compass

What is SDLT Compass?

SDLT Compass is a system developed by a team of Stamp Duty Land Tax expert tax advisers to solve a complex and much misunderstood problem which has bedevilled conveyancers since 2003.

Conveyancers need a fast, effective, accurate method for assessing the SDLT/LTT/LBTT due on any property transaction.

Compass delivers this for conveyancers and produces a detailed audit trail to fulfil their CQS and compliance obligations, with the option of referring their clients to a specialist adviser where required.

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Key Features

The UK’s First and Only Accurate SDLT/LTT & LBTT Calculator

HMRC’s own ‘SDLT Calculator’ lacks many of the nuances necessary to deal with a whole variety of UK property transactions, from mixed-use purchases to acquisitions of land for development.  It states that it is just a guide and cannot be relied on. Also, HMRC’s ‘helpline’ is often slow to respond, and manned by staff who are not experts in tax law or SDLT. Neither offers advice or stands behind any comments made, leaving the risk with conveyancers. In contrast Compass stands behind its expert assessments of the tax due. Designed by experts, constantly updated to take account of every change to SDLT legislation and underwritten by a team which has over a century’s worth of tax advice experience between them.

Simple, web-based interface

An uncomplicated layout belying an advanced algorithm coded to reflect the very latest SDLT position in UK law. Compass gives you the answers you need without the hassle of considering dozens of irrelevant details.

ensure cqs compliance

Designed to produce a detailed audit trail to the specifications mandated in the latest CQS and Law Society tax guidance, Compass fulfils your obligations without having to spend additional time and money on each transaction.

avoid costly sdlt errors

Each year, millions of pounds of overpaid SDLT is reclaimed from HMRC. Thousands of claims sprang up against firms for missed Multiple Dwellings Relief claims in the previous twelve months alone. Compass will ensure that you need never worry about these types of issues again.

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Simply, it provides an accurate calculation of the SDLT/LTT or LBTT liability on any transaction for any type of purchase in any UK country.

Backed by the expertise of a team of SDLT specialist tax advisers, it is the only solution you need to ensure that your firm avoids any potentially costly errors in SDLT/LTT/LBTT calculation on any transaction.

Laid out in a simple, four page process, Compass will ask you the relevant questions for each transaction, procedurally generating further relevant questions based on each answer to ensure that you don’t waste time wading through irrelevant text.

Once all questions are answered, the system will generate an estimate of the tax due, together with an assessment of whether the case is High Risk or Low Risk. Low Risk cases will be automatically verified and allow the printout of an indemnified and fully CQS compliant audit trail for your records.

High Risk cases will offer the opportunity to immediately refer the case to a specialised adviser who will be able to provide a full answer to you and your clients within 48 hours.

HMRC do indeed supply three ‘calculators’, which by their own admission are merely intended as ‘a guide’. HMRC’s website does not guide you to which calculator is the correct one for any specific transaction, and therefore leaves you unable to take account of several relevant variables that might produce different results from the norm, including various aspects of a transaction that may lead to exemptions and reliefs. Compass has been designed from the ground up to take account of all such factors, and to flag where specialist advice should be sought in relevant circumstances.

Simply, the ability to keep your firm thoroughly up to date with both your regulatory obligations and the everchanging market at minimal cost. No additional training, new processes or complex systems need to be undertaken. Compass is designed with the legal profession in mind from the ground up, and will be intuitive and simple to use, while providing a comprehensive solution.

A custom-built application designed to enable conveyancing firms to fulfil Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) requirements with no extra effort and minimal cost.

  • Easy to use GUI (Graphical User Interface)
  • Company-wide accounts
  • Ability to create records and see the tax outcome
  • Outcome gives a High or Low risk result, based on the answers provided
  • Low Risk has ability to download Audit Trails that cover the calculation, and the relevant results for property type, if it’s liable for relief, and if it is exposed to the additional rate
  • Audit Trails Include the complete history of answers given in the record, and return completion instructions
  • Each Audit trail comes with an individual disbursement invoice for the costs to be recovered from the Conveyancer’s Client
  • Weekly schedules sent to a Finance contact covering the transactions and Audit Trail downloads for the firm
  • Both ‘Low’ and ‘High Risk’ have a seamless referral system for quick indemnified advice on the transaction, to give complete peace of mind to both the conveyancer and their client
  • Self-management of license quantity, adding, enabling and disabling users
  • Option for CMS Integration [Bespoke]
  • Permanent 9am-5pm manned support
  • In-built feedback/help system with support response functionality, allowing users to directly and quickly get help on specific issues
  • Produces a complete Audit Trail with breakdown of calculation and return completion instructions
  • Warning messages where transactions are not normal for SDLT purposes
  • Direct referral to Cornerstone for detailed advice

Compass is built using Servoy which utilises JavaScript and SQL, as well offers security at both the data and user interface levels. Servoy uses SSL with 128-bit encryption for all communications between the client and the server to ensure that data is secure as it travels across the network. Furthermore, the Servoy solution is purely based in the EEA. This means that Compass is completely GDPR compliant and secure.

It can easily be described as the ‘Next Evolutionary Step’ in online Stamp Tax tools. This is since Compass asks every datapoint necessary for accurately assessing the Tax Position of a transaction. Whereas previously one would have to know exactly what would define a property’s type, exactly how the rules worked around the additional rate, as well as be aware of all possible reliefs, Compass only asks for data points.


  • £50 inc VAT per complete Audit Trail (to client)


  • £250 plus VAT per £250k of property value (Rate certification) (to client)


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©SDLT Compass 2021

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