There is growing speculation that a raft of tax proposals to be unveiled next week will include reform of Capital Gains Tax which could damage the housing market.
March 23 has been designated as ‘Tax Day’ by the government, which says it will release a series of consultation documents on long-term reforms.
Several property industry figures warn that proposals to change CGT - advocated by the Office for Tax Simplification - could undo the boom seen in recent months in the housing market.
“The big overhaul for CGT and Inheritance Tax is yet to come” says Camilla Bishop, head of private client at city law firm DMH Stallard.
Nimesh Shah, chief executive of tax advisory firm Blick Rothenberg, says outline proposals for changes are likely on March 23 with ‘flesh on the bones’ in the autumn.
Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, says: “There’s several possible reasons for landlords reassessing their portfolios. Firstly, landlords may be looking to crystallise capital gains amid speculation that Capital Gains Tax changes could be on the way.”
Adam Walker, property industry consultant and business transfer expert, has told The Negotiator: “If you are thinking of selling an investment property or selling shares or selling a business then you probably have just six months to complete your sale before the higher tax rates are introduced in the Autumn budget.”
And earlier this week Marc von Grundherr, director of London agency Benham and Reeves, gave dire warnings about the impact of CGT changes on investment properties, landlords and buy to let in particular. He says if changes recommended by the Office for Tax Simplification are implemented, basic rate taxpayers would on average pay nearly £4,000 more when they sell a buy to let property, climbing to a huge £23,810 more on average for those on the higher tax rate.
March 23 was revealed some weeks ago as the date when the Treasury would unveil proposals for longer-term reform, likely to include CGT, Stamp Duty and Council Tax.
Jesse Norman, financial secretary to the Treasury, has already tipped off MPs in a letter saying: “The goal of making these announcements separately to the Budget, but still all on a single day, is to give a range of important but less high profile measures greater visibility among, and opportunity for scrutiny by, parliamentary colleagues, tax professionals and other stakeholders.”
The government has made it clear that Monday’s announcements will not be for tax rises in the current year - but has made no commitments about 2022 onwards.