The almost non-stop series of tax changes affecting all aspects of the housing market in recent years looks set to continue next month.
Sajid Javid, the new Community and Local Government Secretary in Theresa May’s government, has dropped what many observers believe to be a big hint yesterday that next month’s Autumn Statement will see yet more changes.
Javid was speaking at MIPIM UK, an industry conference in London. He was questioned on the series of tax changes introduced by former Chancellor George Osborne.
Property Week reports that Javid told delegates the new Chancellor, Philip Hammond, would have his “first opportunity” for property tax reform in the Autumn Statement scheduled for November 23.
“It will give the chancellor an opportunity to allay some of those concerns,” Javid said, referring to concerns voiced from the audience of agents, developers and consultants.
In response to a specific question about stamp duty reform, Javid said the Treasury – at which he was a minister in the Cameron government – would be keeping “all taxes under review to make sure they are efficient in achieving what was intended”.
He told the conference that any decision on property taxes would be for the new Chancellor but that he [Javid] retained a “strong interest” in the stamp duty debate, adding: “If the Chancellor does want to make a change he will have an opportunity to do it”. He added that delegates should “keep an eye out” for announcements.
In 2014 Osborne reformed stamp duty, reducing it for the substantial majority of transactions but increasing it significantly for most homes sold for over £937,000.
In April of this year Osborne introduced an additional stamp duty surcharge of three per cent for ‘additional homes’ – holiday properties and buy to let purchases, as well as bulk-buying Build To Rent institutional investment acquisitions.
Osborne, now a backbench MP, also introduced changes to the status and payments required from some off-shore and corporate purchasers of property.
On the lettings side, Osborne has introduced a phased reduction in landlords’ mortgage interest tax relief, introduced over four years from April 2017. In addition, he turned the Waer and Tear allowance for landlords into a receipts-based claim rather than an automatic annual allowance.