Stamp Duty Reform

I was delighted to hear the Chancellor’s reforms of Stamp Duty in his Autumn statement.  He has ditched the system and turned it into a more progressive tax.  I also think the rates are very realistic and means in general terms anyone purchasing up to approximately £970,000 will be paying less Stamp Duty.  If I was being slightly critical, I would express disappointment that he did not take the opportunity to increase the £125,000 band where Stamp Duty begins, to assist first time buyers.  I hope that the Scottish Government looks at the Chancellor’s changes and adopts this proposal.  As readers of previous blogs will know, in particular 23 October 2014, I am concerned that the Land and Building Transaction Tax which replaces Stamp Duty Land Tax in Scotland on 1 April 2015 penalises people at too early a stage – £325,000.

On another note, I would urge both Scottish and UK Governments to look at Capital Gains Tax and amend this for people who sell their sole or main residence within five years of purchase.   The extra funds raised from this tax could fund a house building/first time buyer fund and be used to stimulate the housing market.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property

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