Will the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday extend beyond 31st March?

Members of Parliament met over a video conference call yesterday to discuss the potential extension of the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) Holiday. 

The Stamp Duty Land Tax Holiday or Stamp Duty Land Tax Relief scheme was launched on the 8th July last year in an attempt to keep the property market afloat during the pandemic. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced that the SDLT holiday would apply to the first £500,000 of all property transactions in England and Northern Ireland. 

Some people are already exempt from paying SDLT, regardless of whether there is a holiday or not. This includes property left to someone in a Will, a property that is transferred because of divorce or a dissolution of a civil partnership and first-time buyers purchasing a property for less than £300,000. HM Revenue & Customs covers all the exemptions on the government website.

 

“Extending the SDLT Holiday will protect businesses and also ensure that dream of home-ownership can come true for so many others.”

 

However, some buyers could miss out on the SDLT holiday if the deadline isn’t extended. The A petition, signed by over 140,000 people, called calling for a six-month extension of the scheme was the catalyst for yesterday’s debate. 

MP Elliot Colbun, member of the Petitions Committee, led the debate. He said:

“The Stamp Duty Holiday extension will assist many buyers to move to a property that they would not be able to purchase otherwise. This will help stabilise the housing market.” 

Some of the solutions proposed by Colburn included:

  • Resetting the Stamp Duty Relief deadline to a new date
  • Exploring the possibility of allowing transactions that began before 31st March to be eligible for Stamp Duty Relief. 
  • Permanently maintain the Stamp Duty threshold at £500k 

MPs from various parties largely agreed the Stamp Duty Relief should be extended. MP Catherine West said: “I do hope that in the budget the Chancellor will acknowledge the stress and inconvenience. There are people who are buying for the first time, for family reasons, childcare, coronavirus, bereavements that do have to move house.”

MP Greg Smith added: “I absolutely welcome the Chancellors stamp duty holiday. I believe it has proven successful in attracting both buyers and sellers to a property market in what is a difficult time for the property market. Extending the SDLT Holiday will protect businesses and also ensure that dream of home-ownership can come true for so many others.”

MP Janet Daby stressed the importance of stimulating the economy – for both individuals and businesses. She explained: “We all need to get the economy moving again. We need this to continue. When more people are encouraged to buy, we all feel the knock-on benefits. A broader economic upturn will be seen.”

The extension of the SDLT Relief scheme could benefit home buyers and sellers of all ages. MP Matthew Offord said: “Three million people want to downsize into suitable retirement properties. By extending the Stamp Duty holiday to the end of the year […], this chain of events will be a major boost for first-time buyers too.”

The decision on what happens to the future of the Stamp Duty Land Tax Relief scheme could be revealed in the Chancellor’s Budget on the 3rd March. Stay updated with the Stamp Duty Land Tax Relief section on the government’s website.