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SDLT: Non-UK resident surcharge consultation

The consultation to introduce a 1% Stamp Duty surcharge for purchases of UK dwellings by non-residents closed on 6 May 2019.

Sean Randall, partner at Blick Rothenberg said, “The evidence that non-residents cause house price inflation is based on relatively old statistical information. We believe that more research should be undertaken to determine whether the measure is warranted and what effect it might have. There is evidence that UK house-builders rely on non-residents buying off-plan as a source of funding. Ironically, hitting that source may actually cause house price inflation. This underlines the need for more research.”

He added, “The extent of change to the Stamp Duty rules and the level of complexity of the current rules are extraordinary. The proposal would mean that the top rate of tax would be 400% higher than the top rate that existed 10 years ago and 11 alternative sets of rates would apply rather than two. There is evidence that licensed conveyancers are struggling to apply the existing rules. So any change, however simple, would mean more complexity. And those investing in ‘build-to-rent’ should be encouraged not deterred. They are reducing demand by providing homes to rent. Their claim for an exemption from the surcharge is strong.”

Now the consultation has closed the Government has advised it will “be legislated for in a future Finance Bill”.

For more information, please contact Sean Randall.

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