Stamp Duty  

Calls for govt to scrap stamp duty deadline

Calls for govt to scrap stamp duty deadline

The government’s decision to postpone cutting the deadline for stamp duty payments has been welcomed - but there are calls for it to go further.

Proposals to reduce the deadline from 30 days to 14 days beginning in 2017-18 were made in 2015 - but HM Treasury documents published in the Budget yesterday revealed the introduction of the new limit had been pushed back to 2018-19.

The move is expected to cost the government £105m this year but will lead to savings of £95m in 2018-19.

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Tim Clayden, partner at law firm Wilsons, said: “The stamp duty land tax (SDLT) bill comes at a time when most homebuyers are exceedingly low on cash and have already borrowed to the hilt.

“It’s good to see the government take into account the views of property buyers and delay introducing what is a very short window to make a very substantial tax payment.

“The government has previously been pragmatic enough to scrap the plan to privatise the Land Registry, so it would be good to see the same move made on this policy.

“The delay is only forecast to cost the Treasury £10m, which is a drop in the ocean of SDLT. Given the added stress and hassle for property purchasers, scrapping the change entirely would be a popular and low cost move.”

David Hollingworth, associate director at London and Country Mortgages, said: “I think for home buyers it won’t make a massive amount of difference. In most cases they will be stumping up funds for stamp duty payments and it is for the solicitor to make sure the paperwork is in order.

“From a law firm and conveyancer’s point of view, if there are concerns then it seems sensible to give a longer feed-in period – you don’t want any administrative hurdles for individuals.”

simon.allin@ft.com