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Only 900 responses to government consultation on stamp duty surcharge

The government’s official consultation exercise on the stamp duty surcharge - launched in controversial circumstances over the Christmas holidays - attracted only 909 responses.

The Treasury says these included submissions from 59 industry bodies, 46 solicitors and conveyancers, 92 corporate investors and developers, 631 individuals and 81 other organisations including charities. 

The industry bodies listed in the appendix to the Treasury’s paperwork on the surcharge include the Association of Residential Letting Agents, the RLA and NLA landlord bodies and the Independent Network of Estate Agents - the National Association of Estate Agents does not figure on the list.


Relatively few agents figure, although Countrywide is listed as having made representations.

In last week’s controversial Budget the stamp duty issue - over-shadowed by the subsequent row over disability issues - received only passing mention by Chancellor George Osborne.

The paperwork confirms that the only substantial differences between Osborne’s original announcement in November and his latest Budget are that the stamp duty surcharge will now be applied to large-scale bulk buyers of additional homes (originally exempted), and that the ‘overlap’ period for buyers to own a second home while disposing of the original is 36 months instead of 18 months.  

You can see the full Treasury’s consultation documents here.

  • Rob Hailstone

    909 responses doesn’t seem a particularly poor number when you pretty much know that the majority of challenges and suggestions put forward will be ignored anyway. We (the Bold Legal Group) submitted our response on behalf of, and in consultation with, our 400 plus law firm members.

    I would be interested to know if estate agents are, or are expecting to be, asked whether the additional SDLT will apply by some potential purchasers, and if so, how you intend to respond? Especially if the question is not (on the face of it at least) clear cut? Will you ask the question?

    “Do any of you (or if applicable any spouse or civil partner of any of you - not a party to this transaction) currently own any interest or are in the course of purchasing any interest in a residential property anywhere in the world?”

    Presumably the answer could have an impact on how much the purchaser will end up paying (in total) to buy the property?

    Further information on this issue can be found in the HMRC Guidance Note (issued 16th March 2016): Stamp Duty Land Tax; higher rates for purchases of additional residential properties


    Daniel Roder

    Well said, Rob. Agree with all the points that you make.


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