Simple Landlords Insurance

Get a quote Retrieve quote call us 0808 172 5600

"Confusing" Stamp Duty advice to be updated

Monday 19 February 2018

The Government is set to update its guidance on the higher rate of Stamp Duty, which has been branded so confusing that solicitors and estate agents have been caught out.

Since the additional 3 per cent surcharge was first levied on second homes in April 2016, more than 15,700 individuals have wrongly paid the duty and are now eligible for a refund, according to HMRC figures.

A spokesman for HMRC said: “We keep all guidance under constant review, including taking legal developments into account.

“HMRC is working to update its guidance on the higher rates of stamp duty land tax.”

The news comes after the Law Society criticised a “lack of clarity” in the guidance.

Sarah Dwight, a member of the Law Society’s conveyancing and land law committee, said: “It is a very complex area and the guidance does not give conveyancing lawyers much clarity.

“HMRC seems to have thought the guidance it issued was going to be sufficient, but there are so many different types of scenarios that arise when people are seeking to buy and sell a property, that not everyone fitted into HMRC’s boxes.”

Last year homebuyers paid a record £9.5bn in stamp duty land tax, of which one-fifth was generated by a stamp duty surcharge on buy-to-let and second homes.

Takings from the surcharge rose 16 per cent in 2017, according to figures from HM Revenue & Customs, suggesting a significant number of buyers were not deterred by the tax changes.

Last month, a letting agent in Teesside who bought a property with his wife was told that because his wife owned two buy-to-let properties, they would have to pay an extra £14,160. But after paying almost £28,000 in Stamp Duty their protests were eventually proved right.

  • The emerging landlord

    It is a time of tremendous change for landlords in the UK.

    Visit microsite
  • Cover from as little as £112.68*

    Get a quote

Call 0808 172 5600

open weekdays 9am-8pm, Saturdays 9am-5pm, and Sundays 10am-4pm.

Get a quote

We want to add value to landlords with interesting news and views! Our Hub includes information and opinions on the housing market from a variety of expert sources – please just be aware it doesn’t always reflect Simple’s opinion, or the products and services we provide.

Filed Under:

Related news articles

Support landlords and bring empty homes back into use

Thursday 14 March 2019

The Government is being urged to bring forward tax measures to address the rise of empty homes, after new figures revealed the number in England increased by around 30,000 from almost 606,000 to over 634,000 in the 12 months to October 2018.