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UK Shelves Plans For Surcharge On Overseas UK Property Buyers

Thursday, July 25, 2019

The UK Government has dropped inclusion in the upcoming Finance Bill of a new one percent stamp duty land tax (SDLT) surcharge on non-UK residents purchasing residential property in England and Northern Ireland.

The measure was expected to be among draft legislation published ahead of the publication of the 2019-20 Finance Bill.

The decision was welcomed by Brian Slater, Chair of the Chartered Institute of Taxation's Property Taxes Sub-committee, who stated: "We are concerned at the increasing complexity of tax rules that touch on residential property. SDLT has been the subject of technical change in virtually every year since its introduction in 2003. In our response to the consultation on this proposal we encouraged the Government to refrain from making further changes before the impact of other recent changes has been properly assessed and the evidence base for the surcharge evaluated fully. We are pleased they have listened and delayed the implementation of this proposal."

The proposal had been announced in Budget 2018, and a consultation was held on the reform, which ended in May 2019.

The surcharge would have applied to purchases of residential property made by non-UK resident individuals and non-natural persons including companies, trusts, and partnerships. The surcharge would have applied to freehold and leasehold purchases and would have applied in addition to the existing SDLT rates.