The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is considering extending the stamp duty holiday for a short period according to a newspaper report today.
The Daily Telegraph, quoting an unnamed government source, says the Treasury may extend the stamp duty holiday deadline of 31 March 2021 by as much as six weeks– taking it to mid-May. The move could prevent tens of thousands of conveyancing transactions falling through as buyers struggle to find the funds to pay for stamp duty land tax for which they had not budgeted.
“It is certainly the case that a lot of people would be caught in the completion trap if the holiday were to end when it is due to” the source tells the Telegraph.
Mr Sunak has apparently dismissed calls for a longer six month extension because of the damage that would do to tax receipts at a time when the government is seeking to recoup money lost due to the pandemic.
No official announcement
Officially the government will not make an announcement on their decision until the Chancellor delivers the Budget on the 3rd of March. However, the Telegraph is closely aligned with government thinking and has given advance information on new policies in the past.
Further measures needed?
While an extension to the stamp duty holiday would be good news for those already in the conveyancing system, many campaigners are calling for the end to stamp duty altogether. Many Conservative MPs are calling for council tax and stamp duty land tax to be replaced by a single property tax. A move, they say, which could make more than 19 million households in England better off.
For conveyancing solicitors trying to get their clients across the finishing line before the 31 March, any extension would be welcome news but for now we will have to wait for any official announcement in next month’s budget before we can advise our clients of their options.