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More calls for Chancellor to reform stamp duty regime

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The Chancellor must reform the stamp duty regime to help people get a foot on the property ladder, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has said.

With average house prices now at £250,000, the accountancy trade body said stamp duty prevents first time buyers from owning a home and properties below £500,000 should be subject to a fairer stamp duty system.

Under the ACCA’s proposed regime, homebuyers would pay 1% on the value between £125,000 and £250,000 and 3% on the rest of the value up to £500,000, in much the same way as income tax.

Under the current rules buyers pay 3% on the entire £500,000.

On a property worth £500,000 the total stamp duty today, under the current system would be £15,000. Under the new proposals it would be £8,500, saving the buyer up to £6,500.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, ACCA head of taxation, said: “The cliff edge nature of SDLT [stamp duty land tax] has always been very hard to justify, especially at the lower end of the market where young people are taking their first baby steps to get on the housing ladder. With house prices on the rise and lenders loosening the manacles on mortgage lending, this will become an even bigger obstacle for homebuyers.”

Last week, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) made a similar plea to the Chancellor.

It described the existing ‘slab’ structure for stamp duty as ‘archaic’ and said the government should introduce a tapered rate in the Budget later this month.



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