Scottish Property Federation urges LBTT review in light of UK SDLT reforms

The Scottish Property Federation today repeated its call on Scottish Ministers to introduce a new rate for residential LBTT between the 2% and 10% rates to be introduced under current Scottish Government proposals.

David Melhuish, Director of the Scottish Property Federation, said: "Unless the Scottish Government changes its proposals then come 1 April Scottish house buyers will be paying significantly more in tax above the £250,000 mark than they would under the new SDLT bands.  One of the original policy aims of the Scottish Government was to ensure that the majority of taxpayers would not be worse off under LBTT than they would have been under SDLT.  Similarly for businesses the UK are retaining the commercial rate of 4% on full consideration for commercial investments and sales.  We repeat our call for the Scottish Government to be competitive and to match this key top rate of non-domestic LBTT in order to ensure Scotland remains competitive with the wider UK for land and commercial transactions.  The UK Chancellor has today significantly changed the goalposts on SDLT and this offers an opportunity for Scottish Ministers to revise their proposals.

"Again the Chancellor has pegged the business rates increase to 2%.  This is less than RPI and therefore welcome but it is time the annual inflation-linked increased on rates is reformed.  Business rates across the UK are nearly as big a revenue for the government as corporation tax and we believe this situation is simply unsustainable.  We call on the Scottish Government to match or improve upon the Chancellor's decision to limit the annual business rates increase."