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Stamp Duty Petition: should holiday apply when contracts exchange?

A new petition has been launched asking the government to make the stamp duty holiday apply when contracts are exchanged, rather than at the point of completion. 

It’s been instigated by surveyor Christopher Holland who says buyers are being trapped in a situation whereby prices of some properties are now rising above £500,000 meaning they miss out on the tax break. 

The petition says: “People are finding themselves becoming trapped in a scenario whereby house prices are much higher, and at the same time they will now miss out on the stamp duty holiday. People are being financially punished from both sides, this from a policy that was designed to do the exact opposite.

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“Exchanging contracts is exactly what it says. A contract, a legally binding agreement, to purchase a house often with an immediate 10 per cent deposit being paid. So why shouldn’t you benefit from the stamp duty holiday being triggered at that moment of exchanging contracts, rather than at the point of completion? 

“This will allow in particularly new build buyers, with continuous building delays due to Covid-19, to benefit from this policy.”

So far the petition has won over 6,200 signatures and at 10,000 the government issues a written response; at 100,000 signatures a Parliamentary debate will be considered.

Last summer, the government temporarily increased the amount at which stamp duty is paid to £500,000. The tax break will now end on June 30, from when the starting threshold of stamp duty will be £250,000 until the end of September.

Holland, from Gateshead, is reported to have acted after a new-build house he wanted in Northumberland, shot up in price to £520,000 and could not be completed until October, meaning he could face a £16,000 stamp duty bill.

You can see the petition here.

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    It really needs to be changed, if for no other reason that the removal firms cant cope with so many people moving in the last week of June.

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