Government needs to expand the homebuyers’ stamp duty surcharge

The proposed extension for homebuyers to qualify for stamp duty surcharge reclaims needs to be expanded, said leading tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg.

Sean Randall, a partner at the firm, and a leading expert on Stamp Duty said: ‘Last week the Government announced that it would change the law to allow homebuyers to reclaim the stamp duty surcharge where they sell their old home outside the three-year window in exceptional circumstances.

‘They recognise that COVID-19 has disrupted the housing market and unless action is taken some homebuyers would not be able to reclaim the stamp duty surcharge suffered on the purchase of their new home simply because the sale of their old home fell through due to COVID-19.’

Sean added that: ‘What appears to have been overlooked, though, is the reverse. Some individuals who own a second home or buy-to-let will have sold their old home in or around March 2017, moved into rented accommodation and failed to complete their purchase of a new home within the window ending in or around March 2020 due to COVID-19.

‘This means that unless action is taken those individuals will suffer the surcharge on the purchase of their new home whenever they complete. That seems most unfair. Why should the Government permit sales of old homes outside the window in exceptional circumstances but not purchases of new homes? I have brought this to HMRC’s attention and hope that it is addressed in the proposed legislation.’


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