Chancellor states stamp duty liability won't be shifted to property sellers

19 Aug 2019

Chancellor Sajid Javid has stated that he has 'no plans' to shift liability to pay stamp duty from house buyers to house sellers.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is payable by the purchaser in a land transaction occurring in England and Northern Ireland. For land transactions occurring in Scotland, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) applies, and in Wales land transactions are chargeable to Land Transaction Tax (LTT).

First-time buyers pay 0% SDLT on residential properties on consideration up to and including £300,000. The excess beyond this and up to £500,000 is charged at 5%, with ordinary SDLT rates applying beyond £500,000.

Speculation had been rife that the Chancellor was considering switching stamp duty liability from homebuyers to property sellers. Some experts declared that switching liability would make house purchases cheaper for individuals seeking to buy their first home.

Commenting on the matter, the Chancellor said: 'I know from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government that we need bold measures on housing – but this isn't one of them.'

The Chancellor will outline his plans for the UK tax system in the 2019 Budget. Many expect the Budget to be delivered sometime in the autumn: however, Mr Javid recently stated that he has 'not yet decided' whether to hold the Budget before 31 October – the date the UK is expected to leave the EU.

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