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Stamp duty hike here to stay, experts advise

Friday 31 March 2017

George Osborne’s stamp duty tax hike for landlords is here to stay, according to experts at Property Wire’s Future of Buy-to-Let panel discussion. 

The additional 3% stamp duty surcharge on homes that are not the buyer’s main residence came into force on 1 April last year. 

Tony Gimple from specialist tax advisers Less Tax for Landlords said: “Suck it up. It’s a transactional tax and the cost of doing business. There’s a fat chance of U-turn from the Chancellor.”

However Gimple added the guidance that landlords would be able to reclaim the initial outlay of stamp duty when they sell the property. 

National Landlords Association representative and London landlord Richard Blanco agreed that the rules were unlikely to change, pointing out that stamp duty raised £670m in the first half of the year compared to an annual target of £620m, with 60% of that paid by landlords. 

“From the Chancellor’s perspective, it’s been very successful,” he said. 

Blanco pointed out that additional stamp duty costs were particularly adverse for London landlords, with 45% of stamp duty nationally being paid for by property transactions in the capital. 

However Blanco said that the extra charge was not deterring landlords as much as some had expected, although mortgage lending has slowed in recent months.

Andy-Wynne Jones, senior underwriting manager at Simple Landlords Insurance agreed is fellow panel members that plenty of landlords remained optimistic about the future, citing a Landlord Voice poll conducted by Simple which revealed 32% of landlords are planning to increase their portfolios in the next 12 months. 

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