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Government took record level of Stamp Duty revenue in April

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

The government received the highest Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) revenue ever recorded for a single month in April, according to chartered accountants Blick Rothenberg LLP.

The government generated record Stamp Duty receipts of nearly £1.2bn of SDLT in April from a total of 173,430 property transactions in March, as landlords rushed to beat the deadline to avoid the Stamp Duty premium.

Nimesh Shah, partner at Blick Rothenberg, said: “It was inevitable that April would be a bumper month for SDLT revenue as buy-to-let investors scrambled to beat the new additional 3% SDLT surcharge. Changes in the tax system lead to behavioural change, and the advance warning by the Government that SDLT would increase for second purchases from 1 April 2016, is certainly evidence of opportunistic buyers wanting to beat the tax rise.”

Following the deadline, there was a drop of more than 100,000 residential property transactions in April (70,690) from March’s bumper figures (173,430). This is the lowest number of residential property transactions since February 2013 and the lowest recorded transactions for the month of April since April 2012.

Paul Haywood-Schiefer, assistant manager at Blick Rothenberg, explained: “With the rush to get these transactions completed in April, it is inevitable there will be a slowdown in the market in the months ahead. Following this major upheaval in the tax, it will be interesting to see how property transactions and SDLT receipts fare over the next few months as the housing market relaxes itself.”

“For now, the overall effect on the Treasury is positive, as SDLT receipts for the previous 12 months (£11bn) have totalled almost as much as Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax put together (£11.7bn), and further demonstrates how the tax on property has boosted the Treasury revenues.”