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It is being reported that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is planning to increase the Stamp Duty Land Tax threshold.
The current threshold at which tax becomes payable on residential property is £125,000, but it is suggested that it could be raised to £500,000 as part of efforts to boost the economy.
This is no doubt welcome news for many, and particularly first-time buyers, but it is likely to be only a temporary measure, and is no replacement for a long overdue review of the current stamp duty land tax arrangements.
Such a move will cause a rush for transactions to be completed before the temporary arrangements are ended, but longer-term adjustments should be considered by the Government if the benefits to Britain’s economy are to be sustained. The levels of stamp duty land tax are unusually high when compared to property taxes in other countries, and can make moving home prohibitively expensive for many. Parliamentary time spent in overhauling the current property tax regime would be time well spent and would generate long-term economic benefits beyond the current headline-grabbing statements, but, if these measures are announced later this week, buyers should act quickly to take advantage of the large savings to be made.