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Wales debates what to do with own Stamp Duty in April 2018

Arguments now rage among landlords about scrapping 3% extra charge when powers are devolved.

Nigel Lewis

The Welsh government is consulting on what to do when it takes control of Stamp Duty with a local version called Welsh Land Transaction Tax, in April next year.

Landlord groups including the Welsh arm of the Residential Landlords Association director Douglas Haig (pictured, left) are calling for the 3% levy on buy-to-let and second homes to be scrapped because it will ‘limit supply and push up rents’, it is claimed.

The RLA says landlords in Wales have seen the average Stamp Duty bill rise from several hundred pounds to £4,850 since the new rate was introduced across the UK.

But the RLA is unlikely to get its way in Wales. A Welsh government spokesman told the BBC that the additional revenue of £58m created by the 3% additional tax will be “essential to the delivery of public services across Wales”.

mark hayward naea Land transaction taxAgents have been represented at the enquiry into the devolved LTT by the NAEA whose MD Mark Hayward (pictured, right) spoke to officials in October last year.

He recommended a gradual changeover to allow for a “full discussion and full awareness as to not skew the market”.

Welsh Cabinet finance and communities Secretary Mark Drakeford said he wanted to ensure the LTT was as like the existing Stamp Duty as possible to make the transition as smooth as possible, again indicating that the Welsh government is unlikely to scrap the additional 3%, as landlords would like.

It’s also easy to see why the UK government has been relaxed devolving Stamp Duty collection to Wales. Of the £10.7 billion raised nationally, only £105 million comes from residential home purchases in Wales each year.

January 10, 2017

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