News | Published August 19 2019

Chancellor “wouldn’t support” stamp duty reform

Chancellor Sajid Javid has denied that he is planning to reform stamp duty by transferring the tax from the buyers to the property vendors.

The Times published an article on Saturday, following an interview with Javid, which said that he was weighing up stamp duty reform to make first-time buyers exempt from the tax.

The report says that the chancellor “said that he was looking at various options when asked about stamp duty reforms including reversing liability from those buying property to those selling”.

However, Javid responded on social media a day later, tweeting that he “wouldn’t support” reforming stamp duty.

Javid 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 stamp duty purchase tax is currently applied to properties worth over £125,000 in England and Northern Ireland and was abolished in 2017 for first-time buyers spending up to £300,000 on a property.

Transferring the tax to home sellers would have made buying property even cheaper for first-time buyers or people looking to upgrade to larger homes, but may have acted as a disincentive for owners of larger homes to sell their properties.

House prices and sales are currently slowing in the run-up to Brexit, with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors having said that parts of the market are “pretty much flatlining” earlier in August.

The Times report says that Javid described himself as a "low-tax guy" who wants to "see simpler taxes", but the chancellor stopped short of revealing his plans to reform the tax system, saying he will “wait and see" the outcome of the autumn Budget.

He is yet to make a decision on whether the Budget will come before the October 31 deadline for EU withdrawal.

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Authored by

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
August 19 2019

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