Should the Stamp Duty holiday be extended? In July 2020, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak scrapped the tax on all homes under £500,000, giving a huge boost to the UK housing market. On Monday (1 February) a petition with 141,952 signatures called for the Stamp Duty holiday to be extended.
Here Alan Jones, Sales Director for Curlett Jones Estates on Lord Street in Southport, shares his expert view:
At Curlett Jones Estates, we are feeling along with our clients and buyers, the pressure of completing house moves before the end of the Stamp Duty tax break on 31st March 2021.
Over 140,000 people have now signed a petition to have the Stamp Duty tax break extended to ensure the housing market doesn’t collapse under the immense pressure this has caused.
Due to the number of people petitioning their MPs, Parliament held a virtual Petitions Committee debate on 1 February 2021 on the possibility of extending the Stamp Duty holiday, beyond the current deadline of 31 March 2021.
MPs lined up to take part and many of them had examples of current transactions which are stuck in a logjam due to Covid-19 restrictions and which are now unlikely to reach completion by the current deadline and therefore, are now likely to fall through if those involved are liable for the unexpected added Stamp Duty tax costs.
Many MPs who participated drew a picture of thousands of pounds spent by their constituents, on surveys and searches undertaken in good faith, in anticipation of saving Stamp Duty Land Tax.
While many agreed that now is not the time for the Treasury to overhaul the Stamp Duty tax, there was a large degree of consensus among those that took part, that the tax break should be extended.
The Treasury responded to MPs saying that “The UK Government is aware of the strength of feeling and fully understands the frustrations of those involved.”
They talked about many thousands of people working in the sector and thanked everyone for their efforts. They went on to say that the rationale for introducing the tax break was to combat Covid-19 related uncertainty and said that the approach had worked as a policy with transactions up 34% in December year on year.
At Curlett Jones Estates, we are governed by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA Propertymark). They have been working with the Government to get this tax break extended. The Chief Policy Adviser at Propertymark (Mark Hayward) said the following on Parliament’s meeting: “We welcome today’s important debate on the issue of the Stamp Duty tax break, and are pleased to see that there is clearly cross-party support for a tax break extension or tapered end given the concerning cliff-edge is now only two months away.
“The housing market boom, caused by the Stamp Duty holiday, has been hugely beneficial; however, the Stamp Duty cliff edge on the 31st March could cause thousands of sales to fall at the final hurdle and have a knock-on and drastic effect on the housing market which has recovered well from the Covid slump.
“We are continuing to call on the UK Government to rethink these timings, so pressure on the system can be released to allow transactions to complete and avoid a disorderly and distressing period for movers and businesses throughout the market.”
At Curlett Jones Estates, we will continue to support both our existing and new clients through this stressful time and hopefully, the UK Government will announce a tax break extension to relieve the pressure on both clients and businesses.”
Curlett Jones Estates is based at 653 Lord Street, Southport. For more details please phone them on: 01704 537950 or visit their website: www.curlettjones.co.uk
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