Stamp Duties

Treasury written question – answered on 4th February 2021.

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Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing all housing sales agreed during the period of reduced stamp duty rates that complete after the cut ends to be eligible for that discount.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The temporary SDLT relief was designed to stimulate immediate momentum in a property market where property transactions fell by as much as 50 per cent during the COVID-19 lockdown in March. This has also supported the jobs of people whose employment relies on custom from the property industry, such as retailers and tradespeople.

The relief applies to sales that have completed or have been substantially performed before 31 March 2021. Completion and substantial performance are recognised legal concepts and using them as trigger points for Stamp Duty Land Tax provides certainty to consumers and to HMRC. There is no standard definition of “sale agreed” in a housing transaction and so moving the trigger point for a transaction to “sale agreed” would lead to uncertainty and confusion amongst home buyers. This lack of certainty would also mean that such a trigger point would be open to abuse.

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