Further to reports in the media, it is anticipated that the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday will be extended by three months until 30 June 2021, a move which RSM welcomes.
Chris Etherington, partner at RSM, comments: 'If indeed the Chancellor follows this approach, it is a pragmatic and sensible step. When the SDLT holiday was introduced, the Chancellor was unlikely to have anticipated that the country would still be under strict lockdown at 31 March and the sudden withdrawal of the SDLT relief could have had a significant impact on the property market, with deals collapsing unnecessarily due to an artificial deadline set by the Treasury.
'Rather than risk a severe correction to the property market, we recommended an extension to safeguard any transactions already in progress or as a minimum, and a phased withdrawal of the relief. This latest step is welcome news to those already facing the stresses of moving home and eases the burden of those working in the property industry.
'The Chancellor may also be minded to heed recent calls for a complete abolition of SDLT and Council Tax and introduce a new property tax. This could perhaps form part of the consultations that are announced later in March.'