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Treasury’s Stamp Duty take soars - so much for the holiday...

The Treasury has enjoyed a record period for stamp duty income.

In England from April to October this year - so almost entirely within the stamp duty holiday - buyers paid £10.2 billion in stamp duty. 

This was up £4.1 billion over the same period of the previous year, which included time when the housing market was shut.


Taking just the October figure - so the first month after the end of the SDLT holiday - that was up 76 per cent from October 2020 and up 25 per cent from October 2019. 

“While the taxman may be rubbing his hands in glee, buyers are more likely to be wringing theirs. Tax is up a third in the first half of the tax year and stamp duty has soared by two thirds. And while the figures are distorted enormously by the impact of the pandemic, the dramatic impact of the stamp duty holiday is clear” says Sarah Coles of business consultancy Hargreaves Lansdown. 

“We can see the enormous impact of the stamp duty holiday. It has pushed the average house price to a record high of £270,000 – up £28,000 in a year, and driven transactions higher” she continues.

“In terms of stimulating the market and generating tax, the move was clearly effective. However, if you’re trying to get onto the ladder or move up it the impact is likely to be far less welcome. As the tax break dies away, buyers have nothing to gain from the short-term measure, and in the process it has made the challenge of buying a home even harder.”

Coles’ analysis of other tax figures revealed by the government include a relatively modest £3.6 billion during the April to October period coming from Inheritance Tax. In October this year, inheritance tax figures were 18 per cent lower than last October, and back below the rate in October 2019, reflecting lower numbers of deaths in the past six months.

Receipts from Self-Assessment Income Tax, CGT and National Insurance contributions for April 2021 to September 2021 are £14.8 billion, up £7.7 billion. VAT Receipts for April to October 2021 are £92.4 billion – that’s up £51 billion.

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    It sounds to me that the SDLT holiday has been a major success for all. It will be interesting to see what happens to the housing market now these horrendously high levels of tax are reinstated.


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