From April 2016, an additional 3 per cent stamp duty will apply to buy-to-let purchases or second homes. In a decision that is likely to hit landlords hard, this new regime is being dubbed the ‘Landlord Tax.’
The introduction of the increase in Stamp duty is largely down to the premise that George Osbourne, The chancellor, has promised to fund an increase in house building. Mr Osboure said that ‘Frankly, people buying a home to let should not be squeezing out families who can’t afford to buy a home,’
He expects the new surcharge to raise £1bn extra for the Treasury by 2021.
The 3 per cent levy for “additional properties”, be they buy-to-let investments or second homes in the country, will effectively create a new top rate of stamp duty. An eye watering 15 per cent on homes worth more than £1.5m.
The changes will come into effect next April and estate agents are predicting a rush of transactions before the ruling comes into force. Commercial property investors, with more than 15 properties, are expected to be exempt from the new charges
Many buy-to-let landlords may wish to convert to a corporate structure in an attempt to avoid the stamp duty rise. However look before you leap. The expense of setting this up will only be worth it if you have assets worth more than £2m.