I was interested to hear about the legislation passed by MSPs replacing the UK Government system of Stamp Duty Land Tax in Scotland with the Land and Building Transactions Tax. The LBTT has been described as part of the Scottish Government’s plan to implement a progressive tax structure where the amount of tax paid is more closely related to the value of the property. I think that there are a number of questions still to be answered including the rates and also other scenarios, i.e. partnerships etc. I think the real bonus is that it will get rid of the distortions caused by the stepped approach in Stamp Duty where a difference in selling price of £1 could lead to an extra tax burden in the thousands of pounds. Anything that helps the housing market is welcome in my book and I would also urge both Scottish and UK Governments to look at Capital Gains Tax in relation to property transactions, in particular the sole or main resident relief, which I think should be graded with any extra taxes raised being used to fund a Government backed mortgage relief scheme. I will report as soon as I have more details on the LBTT.
Lindsay Darroch Partner & Head of Property