Government Should Scrap Stamp Duty, Insist Conveyancers
By |Published On: 8th August 2016|

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Government Should Scrap Stamp Duty, Insist Conveyancers

By |Published On: 8th August 2016|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

The Government should scrap Stamp Duty Land Tax to create a more “buoyant and vibrant” property market, insists the Society of Licensed Conveyancers (SLC).

Government Should Scrap Stamp Duty, Insist Conveyancers

Government Should Scrap Stamp Duty, Insist Conveyancers

Since the 3% Stamp Duty surcharge for buy-to-let properties and second homes was introduced on 1st April, the number of landlords purchasing properties has dropped significantly.

Additionally, with the amount of tax relief that landlords can claim on their mortgage interest payments falling to the basic rate from April 2017, there is widespread concern in the industry that many more landlords will be deterred from investing in the buy-to-let sector, which would reduce the stock of much-needed rental homes.

The SLC believes that scrapping Stamp Duty would not only create a more stable and lively property market, but would also lead to a “marked hike in investment and building of new homes” along with creating a “much more straightforward and quicker home buying and selling process”.

The Chairman of the SLC, Simon Law, says: “Stamp Duty Land Tax is perhaps the most inaccurately named tax in existence. There is no stamp involved, it is not a duty, and it is on assessed property values rather than land. In fact, the only word that is in any way accurate is tax. In reality, SDLT is a direct property transaction tax.

“It is ironic that the Government is engaged in a review to improve the home buying process, when it has introduced legislation that actually makes the process more complicated and tortuous. It is an insult on top of this that HMRC looks to conveyancing lawyers to act as tax collectors.”

Just two weeks ago, the TaxPayers’ Alliance also urged the Government to slash Stamp Duty rates by 50% immediately, with a view to abolishing the charge altogether.

The think tank warns that tenants will end up bearing the brunt of the latest tax hikes for landlords, as the additional tax will result in a reduction of homes on the rental market, which will in turn push rents up.

When the reduction in mortgage interest tax relief comes in from next year, many landlords will be left with no alternative but to pass extra costs onto their tenants. The TaxPayers’ Alliance believes that the Government still has a chance to undertake real reform to tackle the housing shortage in the UK and stop rents from soaring, by either revising or abolishing Stamp Duty and tax relief changes.

The full story can be found here: /think-tank-calls-stamp-duty-scrapped/

About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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