By Allan Fuller
We have had an incredibly busy time with property sales ever since the Stamp Duty reductions were first introduced last year by Rishi Sunak. Originally the cut-off date to get the benefit was the end of March this year, but due to a large volume of transactions that would have failed to meet this deadline, it was extended to the end of this month. So far, there have been no announcements of whether the previous rates will then apply, or if a different system might be introduced.
It has certainly caused a large increase in property sales, and it will be interesting to see if there has in fact been an increase in the revenue to the Treasury due to the incentive. What it may have done is to bring forward buying decisions and mean that there could be less activity from buyers in the second half of this year.
There have been calls to abolish the tax, but at a time when government needs all the income it can find that is extremely unlikely. Some rationalization however would be welcome, especially if it would involve removing the tax for UK first time buyers.
Hopefully, there will soon be an announcement.