Conveyancers have voiced their concerns over the short timeframe between the next Budget and 1st April, when the new Stamp Duty surcharge for landlords is set to be enforced.
Conveyancers Express Concern over Short Timeframe Between Budget and Stamp Duty Change
The final rules on the changes to Stamp Duty for buy-to-let investors and second homebuyers will be announced by Chancellor George Osborne in the Budget on 16th March 2016.
This leaves just over two weeks before the tax change is implemented.
Rob Hailstone, of conveyancing membership body The Bold Group, insists that this does not leave conveyancers nearly enough time to adapt to the change.
He believes that there would be an insufficient period for conveyancers to: understand the full impact of the changes; advise their clients accordingly; create processes to ensure that the correct returns are submitted within the short timeframe; and obtain any additional tax that may be due.
Additionally, Hailstone warns that investors may not be able to fund the extra tax that they have not budgeted for. For example, a buyer will need an extra £9,000 for a £300,000 property purchase.
Hailstone also notes that since the Land Registry does not process the registration of two transactions simultaneously, in most cases, at least one of the buyers will legally own two properties for a number of days before the registration of the purchase and sale are completed.
He adds that very often, legal ownership does not transfer for weeks or even months after the completion date.
Hailstone calls for the implementation of the Stamp Duty surcharge to be delayed by at least three months.
The Conveyancing Association also believes the time between the final policy details being revealed in the Budget and enforcement of the change is too short, and that a delay is necessary.
To keep up-to-date with all changes to landlord taxes, remember to check LandlordNews.co.uk for the latest buy-to-let advice.