As we all wait with bated breath to find out whether we’ll have Jeremy Hunt or Boris Johnson leading the country, the latter has spoken recently about switching Stamp Duty liability from the house buyer to the seller.

This would mark a step away from the government’s recent drive of dissuading landlords from buying additional properties.  It could be a welcome boost for buyers though.

The onus would be on the sellers to pay the Stamp Duty on properties.  In turn, this would mean that first-time buyers would never need to pay Stamp Duty.  This would be an encouraging step forward in helping people get on to the property ladder.

The Association of Accounting Technicians

The Association of Accounting Technicians are well-known critics of the current Stamp Duty system. Boris Johnson has agreed to examine their Stamp Duty recommendation further.

Phil Hall is AAT’s Head of Public Policy and Public Affair.  He said: “We are naturally pleased that Boris has agreed to look at our long-standing proposal to switch Stamp Duty liability from the buyer to the seller.

This will save the taxpayer £700m a year by rendering the exemption to first-time buyers redundant.

It will also protect the £9bn of revenue that Stamp Duty generates as it will still be paid in full, simply by different people. It’s much more progressive too, as it will be paid on the lower-priced property being sold, rather than the higher-priced property being bought.”

Quote from Phil Hall of The Association of Accounting Technicians about Stamp Duty liability

Scrapping Stamp Duty

In the past, Boris Johnson has said that he would look at scrapping Stamp Duty for homes worth under £500,000. Whether this has a knock-on effect while buyers decide to wait and see whether it would be beneficial to hold off purchasing remains to be seen.

The fear for some people is that scrapping stamp duty liability – alongside Brexit – could affect the Bank of England base rate. The rate has risen twice since hitting a historic low a few years ago.

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