Owen McKenna from Harrison Drury, gives his verdict on the Budget from a property perspective. He said:
In my opinion the budget was very much made with one eye on the upcoming election – nothing too contentious that may alienate the electorate. From a property lawyer perspective, the potential savings in SDLT arising from the increase in the SDLT threshold are a good idea but having considered the detail of the proposals, there are a number of practical issues that leave questions unanswered.
For the property industry, some of the noteworthy issues. Follow this link to find out.
- Subject to satisfaction of a number of conditions, doubling of the stamp duty land tax (SDLT) threshold for first-time buyers from £125,000 to £250,000 with effect from midnight on 24 March 2010. This increase has the potential to save a first-time buyer up to £2,500, as the bottom rate of the tax is 1%.
- A new SDLT rate of 5% for purchases of residential property, where the consideration exceeds £1 million and the effective date (usually the date of completion) is on or after 6 April 2011. The previous highest rate was 4% for purchases where the consideration exceeds £500,000.
- Empty commercial properties with rateable values of up to £18,000 will continue to be exempt from business rates. This will be welcomed by business occupiers.
- From 1 April 2010, the Government will increase the VAT registration threshold in line with inflation from £68,000 to £70,000, which will ensure that fewer small businesses have to join the VAT system and the Government will make changes to simplify the partial exemption de minimis rules and to simplify the option to tax legislation.
- The multipliers for business rates for 2010-2011, which take effect from 1 April 2010 are 40.7 pence for qualifying small properties and 41.4 pence for all other properties.
Please get in touch if you have any concerns on how the Budget could impact you.