ICAS response to consultation on ‘Higher rates of SDLT on purchases of additional residential properties’

ICAS has responded to HM Treasury consultation on ‘Higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on purchases of additional residential properties’

Published:
1 February 2016

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General Comments

ICAS welcomes the opportunity to comment on the HM Treasury consultation Higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on purchases of additional residential properties, issued on 28 December 2015.

The proposals for higher rates of SDLT on additional residential properties are likely to add to the considerable complexity which already exists around the taxation of residential property purchases.

In these proposals little consideration appears to have been given to aligning definitions and exemptions across different taxes. Looking solely at the SDLT regime itself there were already complications in determining the rates applicable to residential property, for example the multiple dwellings relief or the possibility of applying non-residential rates on purchases of 6 or more properties; the current proposals compound these. This does not sit well with the government’s aim to simplify the tax system.

There may also be unintended consequences. Landlords affected by these proposals and other forthcoming changes to the treatment of property, such as the restriction of interest relief for unincorporated property businesses, may seek to increase rents. In the short term, blockages may be created in the housing market.

The proposed implementation date of April 2016 leaves limited time for consultation to ensure that the new rules are properly thought through and any exemptions targeted in away which will support the government’s aim of increasing the housing supply.  It is alsohard to see that the proposed new system for refunds can be designed and built before April so that it is functioning properly when large numbers of claims for refunds become part of the SDLT regime.

Topics

  • Consultations and responses
  • Tax

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