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Buy-to-let taxation should be Budget priority

Mark Posniak Mark Posniak
Posted on Mar 05, 2020 | in Blog

Next week sees one of the most highly anticipated Budgets for years. The reason is simple enough: we have a new Government that looks set to be in power for at least two terms and a brand new Chancellor in Rishi Sunak, following Sajid Javid’s shock departure in February.

The announcement of a mansion tax has apparently been ruled out by Number 10 and so the focus in the property community, as is often the case, will be on Stamp Duty. There’s no doubt that Stamp duty continues to be a major drag on the property market, especially on higher value properties where it is nothing less than punitive.

And given that many ‘ordinary’ homes in London can be worth well over £1m, and those who live in them on relatively ‘ordinary’ salaries, its impact is particularly pronounced in the capital. Even for High Net Worths it can be a deal killer. In fact, it’s fair to say that only the ultra-rich can shrug off the obscene level of Stamp Duty currently payable. 

So fingers crossed for a SDLT change that starts the market moving more fluidly. But one area of Stamp Duty I’d particularly like to see addressed is the surcharge on buy-to-let properties, which was introduced back in April 2016. 

That and the various other taxation changes introduced by former Chancellor George Osborne have wreaked absolute havoc on buy-to-let, causing a significant percentage of the amateur landlords out there to retreat from the market altogether as the numbers simply don’t stack up any more.

With a brand new Government and Chancellor in place, now seems like the perfect time to review those seismic (and many, including myself, would argue toxic) changes in their entirety. For many years amateur buy-to-let landlords were the backbone of this country, and so it’s baffling how, in such a short timeframe, they have become the outcast.

So what better time to reignite buy-to-let and bring amateur landlords back in from the cold than the March 2020 Budget?

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