Wed 03 Dec 2014 View all news articles

Government to introduce cuts to stamp duty for nearly all home buyers

Chancellor George Osborne said on Wednesday that he would introduce sweeping cuts to stamp duty for nearly all property purchases, addressing a long-standing grievance of homebuyers five months before an election.

He said the current system, where the amount owed jumps at various threshold levels, would be replaced from Thursday by a graduated rate, similar to income tax.

Stamp duty is currently paid on the total value of a home or land over £125,000 at a rate that increases in stages as it rises through the band thresholds in line with the value of the property.

Osborne told parliament that each rate will now only apply to the part of the property price that falls within that band and that the rates of tax would change, benefiting 98% of home buyers.

The tax will start at 2% on the portion of a property from £125,000 to £250,000 pounds, 5% up to £925,000 pounds, 10% up to £1.5 million and 12% above that level.

"98% (of people) pay less and the whole reform represents a tax cut of £800 million pounds per year," Osborne said in his half-yearly budget.

House prices have risen by nearly 10% nationally in the past year, and twice that in London, making housing a key battleground in the election due next May and pushing increasing numbers of people into paying higher rates of tax.

Source: Reuters

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