In the autumn 2015 statement the Government announced its intention to consult on the introduction of higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to apply to the purchase of additional residential properties.
The intention was to introduce a new SDLT rate of 3% above the current SDLT rates for residential property.
It is proposed that the increased rates will not apply to owners who make “significant investments” in residential property. The consultation will amongst other points, consider whether the ownership of more than 15 residential properties is appropriate as a “significant investment” for these purposes.
The Law Society amongst other professional bodies have responded to the consultation in fairly robust fashion.
The proposed introduction of the legislation is now less than a month away but no draft legislation has been published.
More details are expected to be announced in the Budget on 16th March. It is anticipated that draft legislation and the response to the consultation on these matters will be issued immediately after the Chancellor’s statement.
Given that we will not know what the legislation will say until 16 March there is some uncertainty, although it remains to be seen how much interest the Government pays to the consultation responses.
If a transaction could potentially be caught by the legislation, the only recommendation can be to get the transaction exchanged and completed before the changes are implemented.