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Immovable? Tax it!

George Osborne has made some sizable changes to the treatment of second properties and in the process, may have killed off an asset class

21 January 2016

The Autumn Statement 2015 introduced yet another extra tax cost to residential property investors, in the form of an additional three per cent stamp duty land tax (SDLT) levy on purchases from April 2016.

The buy-to-let market has flourished in recent years with many investors, both in the UK and overseas, viewing UK property as an attractive asset class and a more reliable form of building wealth, and in some cases as an alternative to a traditional pension. It has arguably been the case that the UK tax system has been generous in its taxation of residential property investors, particularly those investing from outside of the UK.

The immovable nature of property makes it an easy target for tax increases. Whether justified as an attempt to stop tax avoidance or as a way to reduce the tax benefits of residential property investment, thereby giving potential homeowners a better chance ...

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