Call for UK stamp duty to be switched from buyers to sellers
As calls for the UK Chancellor to scrap stamp duty in his upcoming Budget gather pace, others are calling for the property tax to be switched from the buyer to the seller.
According to the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) such a move would be more suitable as it means the £11 billion that is raised every year from the tax would still be there but if sellers pay it instead of buyers it would no longer be a burden for first time buyers in particular.
‘It’s widely accepted that stamp duty adds a burden to any home owners seeking to move, especially first time buyers, because they must pay the tax as an immediate upfront cost together with finding a deposit and paying surveyors and solicitors fees and so on,’ said Phil Hall, AAT head of public affairs and public policy. ‘This stunts mobility, impacting on employment and productivity as well as reducing the supply of new homes, which adds to the affordability crisis. Switching liability to the seller would be a relatively simple way of solving these problems,’ he explained.
The AAT has told the Chancellor in its Budget submission that switching the tax to sellers would help more people get on the property ladder by reducing immediate upfront costs, help those moving up the property ladder which in turn should free up smaller properties for first time buyers and overall increase the amount of house purchases. It would also maintain substantial multi-billion pound revenue for the exchequer as although those paying will change, the amount will not, and mean that people moving up the ladder would be paying duty on the lower priced house that they are selling, not the higher price one they are buying therefore improving buyers ability to pay.