Stamp Duty loophole targeted by Osborne

Tax avoidance schemes are costing the nation billions of pounds in lost revenue but Chancellor George Osborne is expected to unveil plans that will close the loophole which currently cheats the Treasury out of around £500 million in stamp duty and £1.3 billion in inheritance tax, say experts.
In Central London alone more than £100 billion of property is offshore, just out of reach of the taxman.
HM Land Registry inventoried over 18,000 title deeds, reporting that as many as one in 20 properties are owned by companies registered offshore.
Selling a £10 million property placed in an offshore company will not incur stamp duty, provided they are not resident or domiciled in the UK for tax and, of course, the property would also avoid incurring the 40 per cent inheritance tax should the owner die.
Lib Dem peer, Lord Oakeshott commented:
“For the first time we see the full scale of the stamp duty-dodging scandal. Now it is time to strip away sham companies on and offshore and charge stamp duty on the property hidden inside”.
In 2011 over 260 properties in London were purchased where the registered proprietor’s address for service was Jersey, nine of these properties had a value of between £1 and £2 million.  The aggregate value for the properties was over £84 million.
 2011
Properties purchased      262
Under £1m 251
£1 – 2m 9
£2 – 5m 2
£5 – 10m 0
£10 – 20m 0
Over £20m 0
Aggregate value £84,778,768.00
Will closing this loophole discourage wealthy buyers?  Not likely.  The increased revenue could help the nation pay off the deficit though.
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