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Graham Awards


Time to scrap Stamp Duty? New figures add weight to argument

New figures released this morning give weight to calls for the complete scrapping of stamp duty. 

The dats shows there have been 20,238 transactions since the SDLT holiday was launched with a sold value of £6.7 billion.

As many as 85 per cent of these transactions have fallen below the £500,000 price threshold and paid no stamp duty thanks to the holiday.


In regular market conditions, £189m would have been paid in stamp duty. With the holiday in place, this has fallen to £80.8m, a total of saving of £108m in just two months.

Marc Von Grundherr, director of estate agency Benham and Reeves - which commissioned the research - says: "The stamp duty holiday has caused demand to go through the roof and so you could argue that in ‘regular’ market conditions the saving wouldn’t be quite as considerable.

“However, it has helped the housing market bounce back from pandemic uncertainty at an alarming rate, helping to avoid a property price crash, while benefiting thousands of homebuyers in the process.

“It will be interesting to see the final scores on the doors once the holiday ends but at this rate, the money saved is going to be huge. 

“You could argue that the tax should be abolished completely as it’s nothing more than an archaic money grab from the government, to the detriment of those who are already stretching to afford the most expensive purchase in life.

"Based on these figures, you wouldn’t be the only one and it does highlight just how much is paid to the government via stamp duty tax.”

  • Simon Shinerock

    The real reason to scrap it is it creates drag on the economy which far outweighs receipts, in other words it creates net negative income to HMRC

  • Mike  Stainsby

    I wouldn't be surprised to see an extension to the current stamp duty holiday to prevent a dip in the market and prevent sales falling through as it becomes clear that they won't meet the deadline. I've never fully appreciated why the tax is for buyers and not sellers which would seem more equitable.

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    I think we should be getting this benefit in Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  • Richard Copus

    20% VAT on virtually everything connected with a sale and purchase from our professional fees to removals, carpets, curtains and new fridges creates a masssive amount of revenue for the Treasury. Plus the tax on fuel from removal lorries ploughing around, increased income tax from people relocating with new and better jobs and the general extra tax generated simply from encouraging more mobility surely argues for Stamp Duty to go now.

  • Steven Heath

    A Flat Tax of 10% on everything , gross income , vat , no accountants needed , no black economy because at 10% tax worth paying , no allowances , simplifies everything .

  • Stephen Hayter

    We all know that nature abhors (and fills) a vacuum, and I suspect that the drop in SDLT receipts might appear very similar to the £108m increase in property prices, which will have been paid from borrowing rather than personal equity. There are two certain things in life - death and taxes - the Treasury will be looking to recover this personal gain somehow.

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    Alan Robinson.
    Whilst any review of the stamp duty rates & application can wait until early 2021, Mike Stainsby makes the most valid of arguments for the Chancellor to announce that the 31st March backstop be put back.
    Imagining a, now postponed, Nov budget, it would have been the simplest of opportunities for the already admired Rishi Sunak to simply state that, because of unexpected delays directedly associated with the current housing market, June 30th would seem a much more logical date for the ending of the stamp duty concessions.
    If this doesn't happen, Pete Jackson and I plus our owner partners, are already becoming concerned that our existing buyers and sellers ( our multi-branch estate agency currently has 1500 sales being progressed ), will begin to panic -- what if their transaction fails to complete by 31st March 2021 ?
    With around 8 weeks of delay for mortgages/surveys/searches/EWS etc, there will soon come a time when the timetable, especially for those in chains, will cause a few sleepless nights at best, absolute pandemonium at worst.
    Joining forces, through whatever appropriate means, to request a revised 30th June 2021 backstop would, it seems to me, be logical.
    Our industry may already see the consequences of the above on the horizon, but it will be massively unfair on the public if we don't scream & shout on their behalf.
    A common sense 3mth breathing space from end March to end June should do trick.

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    In my humble opinion, it should be phased out on a month by month increase. That way if someone misses the deadline all is not lost, just a portion of the saving. Removes the panic and hysteria, never mind the amount of chasing calls everyone will start getting...

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    Laffer Curve - ditch it now for a blanket low rate - say 2% and the net receipts will sky rocket. Have 2% across the board and if your a FTB you can claim it back. Ditch the 2nd home tax as that is a total disaster.

    • 12 October 2020 12:34 PM

    Remember the 2nd home tax was all about making life difficult for LL who Govt is hell bent on eradicating.

    That policy hasn't changed at all.
    Indeed Govt is making things even worse for LL to persuade them to sell up.

    I have yet to see where Govt expects tenants to live once all LL have been forced out of business.


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