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Controversy as 'loophole' helps buyer avoid £1m stamp duty

An estate agent has hit the headlines for marketing a central London home where the buyer can avoid paying almost £1m in stamp duty.

High-end north London estate agent Aston Chase is marketing a 4,600 square feet five bed home at Regent's Park valued at £8.95m - but it is owned by an offshore company so, legally speaking, it is the company that is for sale and not the property.

The Mirror and other national newspapers have picked up on the sale of the property, some describing the company purchase process as a 'loophole' which allows the buyer to (quite legally) avoid having to pay £987,750 stamp duty. 

Selling and buying a company this way does incur some costs which a more orthodox house sale would avoid - for example, under the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings, the home will incur a bill of £54,450 per year. 

But The Mirror points out that at the current rate of stamp duty the saving on this specific property would cover some 18 years of ATED.

The grade II listed house, on Brunswick Place in Regent's Park, has recently been refurbished.

  • Daniel Roder

    Shocking! But you can rest assured they'll get away with it.

  • Rob  Davies

    Doesn't surprise me in the slightest, depressingly. If they think they can get away with it, they will do all they can to make that possible. It always amazes me when super wealthy people do everything they can to find loopholes so they don't have to pay what they owe. Is it really going to make that much difference to their already over-inflated bank balances? It's greed and self-interest, pure and simple.

    It's why I had little sympathy for the critics of the mansion tax. People crying foul about those with £1m homes having to pay a little bit more - seriously!?

  • icon

    If it's the company that is for sale quite strange for an estate agent to be selling a company? This is the same way a lot of super high end stock is sold. I don't think there is a single house on the Bishop's Ave which is privately owned.

  • icon

    WE sell a lot of properties which are owned by offshore companies but we never advertise them as such or put it in writing. Stupid of Aston Chase to bring attention to it.

  • Anna  Dickson

    Snakes in the grass, the lot of them. Do anything they possibly can to avoid paying what they're supposed to.

  • Algarve  Investor

    If the loophole is there, people will always exploit it. Closing each and every loophole is difficult, if not impossible, so this sort of stuff is always going to happen. Sad fact of life.


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