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Scottish government set for stamp duty overhaul

The Scottish government has launched a consultation to overhaul mortgage stamp duty.

The proposals include changing the structure of the tax to a more “progressive system” instead of the slab system currently used.

Currently, homeowners pay no stamp duty if their property is worth less than £125,000 and between £125,001 and £250,000, 1 per cent of the purchase price is paid.

This increases to 3 per cent between £250,001 and £500,000, 4 per cent between £500,001 and £1m, 5 per cent over £1m but under £2m and 15 per cent on properties worth over £2m.

The move would come into force from April 2015 when tax-raising powers would be given to the Scottish executive under the Scotland Act 2012.

Finance secretary John Swinney has also set up Revenue Scotland to collect some taxes north of the border instead of HMRC.

Speaking at the Scottish parliament last week, Swinney said: “We have signalled our preference for a progressive system of taxation where the amount of tax paid is more closely related to the value of the property and therefore to the ability of the individual to pay.

“At the same time, our consultation also indicates a willingness to adjust the threshold at which taxation is levied in order to support those at the lower end of the market.”

A HM Treasury spokesman told Money Marketing that while it keeps all its taxes under review, there are no plans at present to reform stamp duty.

A Council of Mortgage Lenders spokeswoman says: “We have been calling on the Government to fully review UK stamp duty for a number of years. We support the Scottish government’s attempt to do this and would very much like the UK Government to follow suit.”

London & Country associate director of communications David Hollingworth says: “If this proves successful, then it is right that the Government should look at bringing it here. There is very little disagreement that stamp duty needs to be reformed and has done for a long time.”


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