The UK Spending Review and Autumn Statement, which was announced on 25 November 2015, made some important legislative changes, focused around the taxation of property.
By Adam Thompson
The first change, effective from 6 April 2016, is an increase in stamp duty for those buying second homes or purchasing a property as a buy-to-let investment. The new rates for these purchases will increase by three percent on the existing ones.
It’s currently unclear as to what the implications might be on those who are due to exchange and complete on a property on or around 6 April 2016. To be safe it would be prudent to complete before April 2016 if you find yourself in this position.
The second change, effective April 2017, is a reduction in the filing and payment window for stamp duty land tax – down from 30 to 14 days. This is not something that is going to have a great impact on anybody, but is something that you ought to be aware of from a cash flow perspective if you are looking to purchase UK property after April 2017.
The final change, effective April 2019, is the introduction of the need to pay the capital gains tax arising on the sale of a second home or buy-to-let property within 30 days of completion. As many readers are likely to be non-resident in the UK for tax purposes, this change will sound very familiar –it is simply an extension of the non-resident capital gains tax regime that came into effect on 6 April 2015. Again, this is just a timing difference, and has no overall impact on one’s tax liability.
In conclusion, and from a tax perspective, the Statement was fairly tame and focused much more on the Spending Review part of its title, but it is interesting to see the hard stance the Chancellor has taken against those with second homes.
Adam Thompson is Tax Manager at The Fry Group