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25% of home-buyers face stamp duty bill of £7,500 or more

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06/08/2013
More than a quarter of home-buyers in England and Wales are now paying stamp duty at the higher rates of 3% or more, research has revealed.

While home-buyers in London and the South East are hardest hit, hundreds of thousands of people across the country are being hit with stamp duty bills of over £7,500, which acts as a barrier both for first-time buyers and families wanting to buy a new home, said The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) study.

The group has launched a “Stamp Out Stamp Duty” campaign calling for a cut in the ‘punitive’ tax.

Sales of residential properties are free of stamp duty up to the value of £125,000 and attract a 1% tax between £125,000 and £250,000.

In 2012-13, over £4bn was paid by home-buyers in residential stamp duty, of which £3.6bn was paid at a rate of 3% or more, according to the study.

In England and Wales some 723,829 homes were bought in 2012-13, with more than a quarter (182,692) being liable for stamp duty at a rate of 3% or more.

The TPA said stamp duty prevents people from moving when they need to for a new job or to be closer to relatives.

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Owning your own home is an important milestone, but for many families it seems harder and harder to reach.

“Ministers have done nothing to ease the burden imposed by stamp duty, which is an unfair double tax that gets in the way of would-be first-time buyers and others thinking about moving. Instead they have made things worse with new thresholds and new, higher rates. The Government needs to act on ministers’ rhetoric about getting people onto the property ladder and cut this unfair tax.”

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