The Chartered Institute of Taxation is appealing to the government to hold off on adding further complexity to the taxation of residential property after a spate of changes in recent years.
It warns further changes risk confusing the public and those involved in property transactions such as conveyancers.
The CIOT set out its concerns in a response to the recent consultation on the planned 1 per cent stamp duty surcharge on non-UK residents purchasing residential property in England and Northern Ireland. The government believes that non-UK resident buyers are pushing up house prices for UK residents, but a final date for the surcharge is yet to be set.
CIOT’s property taxes sub-committee chair Brian Slater says: “We are concerned at the increasing complexity of tax rules that touch on residential property. Stamp duty land tax has been the subject of technical change in virtually every year since its introduction in 2003. The complexity of SDLT will be compounded by the planned 1 per cent surcharge. We urge the government to refrain from making further changes before the impact of recent changes to the taxation of residential property are assessed and the evidence base for the surcharge is evaluated fully.
“This policy measure is aimed at house price inflation that, in turn, needs to be considered in the context of other recent taxation changes affecting non-UK resident buyers such as the introduction in 2015 of non-resident capital gains tax and the extension of inheritance tax in 2017 to non-UK companies owning residential property. The full impact of these measures is yet to be seen.”