Boris Johnson & Stamp Duty

The Tory leadership hopeful says he is to consider switching the duty from buyers to sellers.

Article taken from The Negotiator July 2019

Boris Johnson (now Prime Minister) is to consider switching stamp duty from the buyer to the seller if he becomes prime minister, it has been revealed, an idea first proposed to him by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) last year but now being re-examined.

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Johnson met with representatives from the AAT and had further discussions with them about the radical taxation proposal, and asked for more supporting information, which has now been provided.

The AAT claims that switching who pays stamp duty would save the exchequer £700m a year by eliminating the need to subsidise first time buyers by exempting them from purchases under £300,000 and only charging them 5% on the rest up to £500,000, as is currently the case.

“The AATis naturally pleased that Boris has agreed to look at our long-standing proposal to switch Stamp Duty liability from the buyer to the seller,” says its Head of Public Policy, Phil Hall (left).

“It will also protect the £9 billion of revenue stamp duty generates as it will still be paid in full, simply by different people.”

Hall also claims it will save those moving up the property ladder money because they will pay tax on the lower-priced home they are selling, rather than the usually higher-priced property they are buying.

These proposed changes come hot on the heels of Johnson’s promise to cut stamp duty for all house sales under £500,000, and cut it for the highest value homes from the current 12% (charge on a property’s sales value over £1.5 million) to 7%.

EQUUS COMMENT: 'We think the reversal of SDLT idea will not be implemented although there are some merits to do this. Any change to the current higher level onerous and abhorrent SDLT would be helpful and hopefully the new housing minister will pay attention to the current blight within the UK housing market in particularly the south east and London. '