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UK Chancellor hints at potential change in stamp duty to benefit buyers

The British Chancellor Sajid Javid has hinted that there will be a change in stamp duty coming up this autumn but has denied that his preferred option is moving the property tax to sellers.

He had appeared to say that sellers will pay stamp duty rather than the present situation where it is paid by those buying a home, but he has now denied that this is a preferred option.

‘I’m looking at various options. I’m a low-tax guy. I want to see simpler taxes,’ he said. As a former Secretary of State for Housing, however, he will be very much aware of the pros and cons of such a move.

Removing the burden of stamp duty from buyers completely could help first time buyers be able to afford bigger properties. But it would put a heavier tax burden on those wishing to downsize. Research already suggests that older home owners are put off by paying so much to move to a smaller property.

But the move is supported by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) which has been campaigning for this change for several years and met Boris Johnson to discuss the plans earlier this summer.

It said that it has already had an exchange of correspondence with the new Chancellor on the idea. The organisation has also engaged with numerous civil servants, special advisers and politicians from across the political divide on the issue.

‘The AAT is naturally pleased that the Chancellor has publicly acknowledged he is giving serious consideration to our proposals. AAT does not believe switching stamp duty liability is a panacea, but it would be considerably fairer, simpler, more effective and cheaper than the current stamp duty regime,’ said Phil Hall, AAT head of public affairs and public policy.