Should paying Stamp Duty be the responsibility of sellers or buyers?

EARLIER this month, Peter Hain, MP for Neath and a candidate for deputy Prime Minister, called for Stamp Duty to be the burden of sellers rather than buyers. Some pundits have backed his proposal as a way to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder. But what do members of the public think?

So, this week Mortgage Strategy asks…

Louis Grateau, 22, bartender

Stamp Duty should be paid by buyers, otherwise when your children inherit your property they will end up paying it at a later stage when they sell and that isn’t fair.

Mike Shaw, 40, managing director

There should be no Stamp Duty, full stop. Why should you have to pay tax on something you’ve paid good money for? You don’t have to when you buy a car. Anyway, if you made sellers pay it would only push up prices.

Peter Davey, 41, estate agent

Stamp Duty should be abolished because the government is killing off the market. If you look at the volume of house sales today, it’s lower than it was 10 years ago. People are adding extensions rather than moving. But if the tax has to exist at all, I’d say it’s fairer to place the burden on sellers.

Paul Eperon, 41, estate agent

In London, the threshold for Stamp Duty should be a lot higher as properties are so expensive here. If this was the case it wouldn’t be such an issue whether buyers or sellers pay it.

Bella Towse, 22, art student

I think Stamp Duty should be the responsibility of the buyer, or there should be a system in place to make it interchangeable. Someone may be selling their property because they need to downsize to save money or release equity and they shouldn’t be penalised for that.

Eliza Wolfson, 22, biology student

It all evens out in the end, so I don’t think it matters whether buyers or sellers pay. But the main problem is that everyone wants to live in London – if they were prepared to live elsewhere it wouldn’t be an issue.

Nadia Lloyd, 22, production assistant

I’m renting at the moment so it might make my life easier if sellers had to pay Stamp Duty as I would stand a better chance of being able to afford my first property.

Brad Eperly, 27, PhD student

I think Stamp Duty should be the seller’s responsibility as the tax is a real problem for first-time buyers. It’s vital for the overall economy that people keep buying houses. The government must not allow the property market to stagnate.

Jasinskis Robertas, 28, restaurant manager

I don’t think it’s fair that we pay taxes such as Stamp Duty. There are taxes for everything nowadays. Those who sell their houses get money out of selling, but first-time buyers won’t have money to spare, so it’s logical that sellers pay the tax.