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Stamp Duty Holiday red tape will cost taxpayers £750,000

It’s costing taxpayers £750,000 just for the government to update its IT systems to handle the stamp duty holiday. 

In a document released at the end of last week, HM Treasury stated: “HM Revenue and Customs will need to make changes to IT systems and the online calculator on GOV.UK to support this change, at an estimated cost of up to £750,000.”

The holiday was announced with immediate effect in early July of last year, and comes to an end in two phases later this year - reducing the threshold for the stamp duty exemption, until the holiday ends completely at the end of September. 


The Treasury’s predicted loss of income as a result of the holiday is put at £2,295m in the 2020-21 financial year and at £1,040m in 2021-2022. Costs thereafter are described as negligible.

The document also throws light on why there was no consultation ahead of the introduction of the holiday - typically, the government has formal consultation periods ahead of many property-related measures, such as a proposed change to the tax status of some holiday lets, announced last week.

But there was no consultation for the stamp duty holiday because “It would not be in the public interest to consult, as this may have an adverse effect on the housing market if buyers delayed purchases during the consultation period.”

The document also reveals that there is an ongoing stamp duty helpline service, through which you can speak with an adviser on the phone - although the typical cost per minute is around 55p. You can see details about it here.

  • Richard Copus

    That's covered by the VAT raised on professional fees, general moving costs and purchase of items for the new home on 175 houses at a sale price of around £500,000 so hardly pressure on taxpayers with the tens of thousands of extra transactions the holiday has enabled.


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