The government chose Christmas Bank Holiday Monday to launch its formal consultation on the ‘additional properties’ stamp duty surcharge, first announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November.
The consultation, which you can see here, runs only until February 1.
The document makes it clear that the higher rates will only apply to purchases of additional residential property - buy to lets and second homes - which complete on or after April 1 2016. If contracts exchanged after November 25 2015 - when the surcharge was first announced - then the higher rates will apply if the purchase is completed on or after April 1 2016.
However, if contracts were exchanged on or before November 25 2015 but not completed until on or after April 1 2016, the higher rates will not apply.
The consultation is lengthy and discusses issues that have exercised the agency industry in the past few weeks, including joint ownership, married and civil partners, buying properties by parents for their children, what happens when a completion is delayed, and so on.
There is also consulation over how Multiple Dwelling Relief and/or SDLT may be applied in cases of multiple property purchases, as well as the treatment of large scale investors.