William Eichler 25 July 2016

Whilehall should scrap stamp duty, campaigners says

The Government should abolish the ‘unfair’ stamp duty, campaign group says.

The Tax Payers Alliance (TPA) is calling on Whitehall to abolish stamp duty arguing it is an ‘unfair tax’ which stops people buying their own home.

The group’s new report--Taxing tenants: how taxes on landlords end up hitting tenants—said the 3% stamp duty additional homes surcharge will help prospective buyers but will hurt tenants in rented accommodation.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) must be paid on properties or land valued over a certain price in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The current SDLT threshold is £125,000 for residential properties and £150,000 for non-residential land and properties.

In Scotland the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax is paid instead of SDLT.

TPA also argued the restriction of finance cost relief for individual landlords will advantage prospective buyers at the expense of tenants.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of TPA said: ‘For decades politicians have failed to tackle the root causes of the housing crisis: a chronic lack of supply.

‘What's more, stamp duty is still punitively high and gimmicky tweaks to the tax system will ultimately end up penalising tenants and increasing rents.’

‘The new Chancellor should now seize the opportunity to drastically simplify and reduce property taxes as well as liberalise planning restrictions, which prevent huge swathes of land from being built on for no good reason at all,’ he added.

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