Further announcements in the Budget that affect individuals.
The Government will proceed with introducing a stamp duty land tax (SDLT) surcharge on foreign buyers of residential property in England and Northern Ireland. The measure was previously the subject of a consultation announced as part of the 2018 Budget and initiated in February 2019.
The current proposal is that non-UK resident individuals, corporates and we assume other entities will, from 1 April 2021, pay an SDLT surcharge of 2 percent on top of the ordinary SDLT rates that would otherwise apply.
The measure is aimed at controlling house price inflation and supporting UK residents to get on the housing ladder by deterring non-UK residents from buying up UK housing stock as an investment. Revenue raised from the surcharge is to be applied to fund policies to help reduce rough sleeping.
During the consultation process, concerns were expressed over the practical application of this policy measure as it seemed to make an already complex tax more complicated. In particular, the definition of ‘non-resident’ seemed unfairly to target returning UK expats purchasing residential properties and doubts were raised about the quality of the research evidence on which the policy was based. Another concern was that non-UK resident investment in the UK housing market was a major contributor to the funding of the construction of new homes and the proposal should take this into account. It is hoped that these concerns will be addressed by the Government when it consults on draft legislation over the summer.
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