A professional membership body is calling for stamp duty, a property tax seen as punitive by many, to be paid by vendors and not buyers.
The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is calling on the government to reform the stamp duty system, but not scrap it. It suggests changing the system to cut upfront costs for buyers, in particular first-time buyers.
Increased stamp duty has hit homebuyers hard, especially buyers looking to step onto the property ladder, and has been blamed for slowing sales market activity.
Phil Hall, AAT’s Head of Public Affairs and Public Policy, said that the cost of stamp duty is prohibitive for many buyers, especially when it needs to be paid alongside other costs, such as the deposit and solicitors’ fees.
Hall says that stamp duty “stunts mobility, impacting on employment and productivity as well as reducing the supply of new homes, which adds to the affordability crisis. Switching liability to the seller would be a relatively simple way of solving these problems.”
While the AAT suggests for stamp duty to be paid by the vendor and not the buyer, Chancellor Philip Hammond has also faced calls for stamp duty to be scrapped entirely.
Stamp duty is widely considered to have had a negative impact on the property market, especially in London where property prices are higher, with buyers at multiple levels of the market unable to move because of affordability issues.
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