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Stamp duty holiday should be backdated, demands law firm

A property law firm is calling on the government to backdate the stamp duty holiday to include those buyers who completed during the lockdown.

Last week Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that residential purchases at £500,000 or less would be exempted stamp duty from Wednesday July 8 until the end of March.

But Sarah Ryan, who is head of private client and conveyancing at Simpson Millar, wants the holiday to be made retrospective to benefit “potentially hundreds of people” - particularly new build buyers and those who had been on the cusp of completion at the start of the pandemic.


Ryan says these people have faced “months of stress and uncertainty.”

And she goes on: ”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 [stamp duty holiday] 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.”

The government suggests that the new higher threshold will mean that 9 out of 10 people will pay no stamp duty at all, and that the average house buyer will save £4,500.

  • Graham Davidson

    Good luck with that!

  • Matt Faizey

    April 1st ?

    I thought it was July

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    Give in and you'll end up back-dating to the beginning of time.

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    Well it is one way to get your firm's name in the media! Utterly ludicrous suggestion however which kind of says it all.

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    Stupid. What these so called Law firms should be doing is Money Laundering on their clients who are paying Cash to purchase, immediately Not 2 or 3 weeks into the Completion process costing the Vendor hundreds of wasted pounds. You so called experienced solicitor firms should start using Common sense and when you have a client wanting to buy with Cash, No Mortgage, then Check the first day that the funds are legal and identifiable!!!

  • Angelo  Piccirillo CEO AVRillo

    tell you what, lets back date it to 1694, the date when Stamp duty was introduced in England during the reign of William and Mary to raise money for war against France. Tell you what, there is talk about tax rises at some point in the future, bring it back in March with the tax also introduced on goods including hats, for the crisis of 1694.

  • Algarve  Investor

    Strikes me as a bit odd that agents and property people are regularly calling for the abolition or reform of stamp duty, and then when someone suggests that the recent change is backdated to the end of March they are laughed out of the room.

    What would agents/conveyancers actually like to see when it comes to stamp duty? What would be the fairest system? I see a lot of dismissing of ideas - such as switching the tax from the buyer to the seller - but very few actual answers about the best way forward.

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    I'd like to see the higher 3% rate scrapped for 'second homes'. That higher rate is prohibiting people from moving house. Someone I know has a one bed flat which has very little equity in it, in fact it lost value during the recession. The lease of the flat needs to be extended before she can sell or remortgage. She is renting a house as the flat is too small for her family and has been saving for a deposit to buy a house because the rent she is paying now is higher than a monthly mortgage payment would be for the same sized house. However, if she were to move now, she would have to pay the higher 3% stamp duty as she will not be able to sell the flat until the lease is sorted out. There just isn't enough money to buy a house, extend the lease and pay the higher rate stamp duty. If she puts her savings towards extending the lease and sells the flat, she will not get the deposit she needs from the sale to buy a house. It leaves me to wonder whether this 3% higher rate was thought through at all.

    • 17 July 2020 00:20 AM

    The surcharge is all part of the Govt strategem to eradicate small private LL.

    Govt is doing all it can do to get rid of small LL.

    Unfortunately there is collateral damage with normal homebuyers.
    Ain't life a bitch!!

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    stamp duty holiday should consider families who bought during pandemic, means it should be back dated from beginning of lock down time announced. Families bought during pandemic means they are eligible for mortgage being in payroll means already paying taxes even during pandemic situation. They are the true tax generators for Government by paying additional tax buying home. Government is poring money for stamp duty and furloughed employees. Not rewarding recent home buyers during pandemic and slashing with higher tax would impact mental health and family situation. Its bitter blow for a genuine families who are working hard from long time to secure a home


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