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Javid rejects moving stamp duty liability from buyers to sellers

  • 19/08/2019
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Javid rejects moving stamp duty liability from buyers to sellers
Chancellor Sajid Javid has dismissed the possibility of moving stamp duty liability onto property sellers from buyers.


He made the statement after an interview in The Times which claimed he was supporting such a move.

The policy has been touted by trade body the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) as a way to help encourage people to move.

In July the AAT said the now Prime Minister Boris Johnson was interested in pursuing the idea after it had been in contact with the then prime ministerial candidate.

However, Javid, who Johnson appointed as Chancellor on becoming Prime Minister, has now rejected the idea outright.

In a tweet on Sunday, Javid said: “To be clear, I never said to @thetimes I was planning to put it on sellers, and I wouldn’t support that.”

He added that bold measures were needed on housing, “but this isn’t one of them”.

In the Times interview, when asked about the policy, Javid said he was a “low tax guy” and wanted to see simpler taxes, but did not outright endorse the mooted stamp duty change.



Brokers not swayed

The AAT published the report ‘Time for Change: Alternatives to tax rises’ in September 2018 outlining some details of its proposals.

Mortgage brokers gave the possibility a tepid response. While there are some potential benefits to the policy, there are also significant risks.

The AAT believes that the change would increase the amount of house purchases by reducing immediate upfront costs for all home buyers except down sizers, which in turn should free up smaller properties for first-time buyers.

But, sellers could add the cost onto the asking price of the property, or sales could be deterred if sellers were unable to command the asking prices that they needed.

Phil Hall, head of public affairs and public policy at the AAT said: “We do not believe that switching stamp duty liability is a panacea, but it would be considerably fairer, simpler, more effective and cheaper than the current stamp duty regime.”

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