Wales criticised for retaining SDLT surcharge under new land tax system

Property bodies have criticised the Welsh Government for failing to take advantage of an opportunity to scrap the UK’s three per cent Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) surcharge on additional properties, under its transition to an independent land tax system.

The criticisms follow reports that Wales will replace SDLT with a new Land Transaction Tax (LTT) – which was announced under its Land Transaction Tax and Anti-avoidance of Devolved Taxes Bill in September.

Last month, industry leaders suspected that Wales would scrap the UK’s unpopular three per cent SDLT surcharge under its new land tax system.

However, the Welsh Government has now announced that LTT will retain the surcharge.

An official Government statement read: “Retaining the higher rate will generate vital revenue to fund public services in Wales”.

A spokesperson added: “I am today announcing that this levy will exist in Wales when Land Transaction Tax – the successor to Stamp Duty in Wales – comes into force”.

The announcements have come under fire from the Association of Residential Letting Agents – who have teamed up with the National Association of Estate Agents to issue a joint statement highlighting their concerns.

The statement reads: “The measures will lead to increased rent prices through a fall in supply and increasing demand.

“Tenants will also see additional costs passed onto them, as landlords look for ways to increase the profitability of their properties in the face of spiralling expenses.

“Ultimately, this will lead to sub-standard accommodation as money, previously used for the upkeep of homes, will be swallowed up in tax payments.”

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