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Property lawyers call for stamp duty holiday to be backdated

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  • 13/07/2020
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Property lawyers call for stamp duty holiday to be backdated
A group of residential property lawyers have written an open letter calling on the government to make the stamp duty cut retrospective.

 

Last week the chancellor announced an immediate cut to stamp duty, with no tax due on purchases up to £500,000.

Sarah Ryan, head of private client and conveyancing at law firm Simpson Millar, is leading a campaign to backdate the change.

In the letter to housing secretary Robert Jenrick the lawyers say the new policy is a “bitter blow” for hundreds who had already finalised proceedings since the start of lockdown in March.

New build buyers were most likely affected and those who had been on the cusp of completion at the start of the pandemic who have already faced “months of stress and uncertainty,” the group added.

Ryan said: “We of course welcome the plans announced to freeze the Stamp Duty costs on any property up to the value of £500,000 which will not only encourage potential buyers to move on and up the proverbial ladder, but will also help to retain jobs in the real estate sector.

“However, there is no denying that for some, in particular those individuals, couples and families who have managed to complete on the purchase of their home either during lockdown, or in the immediate aftermath, this will come as a bitter blow.

“This is most likely to affect those who have bought a new build property as many of those transactions could go ahead despite social distancing, as well as those who were all ready to finalise proceedings once the rules relaxed in May.

“We have now written to the housing secretary to call for the scheme to be made retrospective so that those individuals can also benefit from the cost savings.”

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