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Government pockets millions more from Stamp Duty surcharge

The Government took record Stamp Duty receipts for the first quarter of the year as the extra 3% charge helped overcome a fall in transactions.

Figures from HMRC show estimated receipts in the first three months of this year at £1.9bn, of which £454m came from the Stamp Duty surcharge on additional properties.

In comparison, Stamp Duty raised £1.7bn in the first quarter of 2016 and £1.4bn in the same period of 2015.

However, the figures are down from £2.3bn in the final three months of 2016.

Overall, the number of liable transactions in the first quarter were 5% lower than the same time last year, but this could be skewed by the Stamp Duty rush of 2016.

The number of liable transactions valued between £250,000 and £500,000 fell 10% year-on-year, while those worth more than £500,000 dropped 14% on an yearly basis.

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops & Staff, said: “Stamp Duty Land Tax is the gravy train that just keeps on giving.

“The Government revenues received from January to March are the highest in any first quarter, which is attributable to the continued strength of second property sales and the 3% stamp duty surcharge introduced last year.

“If you take away the £454m generated from this additional element on second homes, the quarter is not the strongest first quarter on record in terms of revenue pocketed by the Government.

“In contrast, the two property transaction bandings valued above £250,000 both show an annual fall in the number of liable transactions, an indication of a less fluid market. Our customers are showing little concern about macro-political events such as the General Election.

“The real issue is prohibitive Stamp Duty taxation, which is having a choking effect on the top end of the market, which in turn has a knock-on effect at all levels.

“I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – Stamp Duty reform is vital to getting our property market in gear.”

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