Further calls made for stamp duty reform

In the wake of the Government having to refund over £160 million in stamp duty overpayments, calls for a reform on stamp duty have been made.

Despite the tax generating growth in Treasury receipts, insurer Royal London has highlighted that stamp duty may inadvertently impact consumers if their property transaction falls through, should this result in them owning both homes simultaneously.

Commenting on the potential financial impact this could cause was Helen Morris. The personal finance specialist at Royal London stated that a more common sense approach should be taken, with the 3% stamp duty payment to be paid at least one year after the purchase has been completed.

“By this point any delays in the sale of a home could be resolved meaning home owners won’t have the stress of finding the extra money. There would also be a massive decrease in the number of refunds HMRC would need to pay out.”

Also calling for the government to consider reforming stamp duty was law firm, Gordon Dadds.

They stated that the higher rate of tax on second homes had deterred consumers from moving up the property ladder and could lead to further stagnation if no changes are made. To combat this and increase the number of available properties, the firm stated that the government should do more to support the creation of suitable, good quality homes.

“Stamp duty has impacted liquidity in the market and has penalised those looking to move house. We are at risk of the property sector stagnating with a lack of houses for sale at a fair and stable price.

“Further opportunity needs to be created in the residential property market for first time buyers and until this is done, tinkering with stamp duty and shared ownership will do nothing but inflate house prices.”

“The Government should do much more to ensure good quality family homes are created, as it may encourage new families to move from the one or two bedroom apartments, which will free up first time buyer stock for new first time buyers.”

Today's Conveyancer