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Warning against falling for stamp duty surcharge 'avoidance' scam

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is warning private investors not to be lured by firms offering schemes which allegedly promise to help them avoid the controversial 3% stamp duty surcharge on additional homes from 1 April.

RLA policy director David Smith, who has met with the Treasury to discuss the new measure, says it’s crystal clear that loopholes have been spotted by the government – and filled in. 
“Landlords should be very careful about making plans for their property purchases until after the budget. Any property purchases must be completed before 1 April if the buyers want to avoid paying the new levels of Stamp Duty Land Tax. The Treasury has made it abundantly clear that anyone offering schemes to get around the changes is talking nonsense,” says Smith.

Smith says the Treasury made clear that the new rules will be highly restrictive and confirmed that no additional guidance will be made available until after the Budget in mid-March, which will announce the changes to implementation following the official consultation process on the ‘additional homes’ proposal.

It was also revealed that the ’15 property rule’ – which would see investors buying 15 or more properties exempt from the 3% surcharge – would only apply to those buying all 15 on one contract and in a single transaction.

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