Time to stop tinkering and remove the burden of stamp duty altogether

November 17, 2016 10:00 AM

A copy of our letter to the Telegraph, published on 17 November 2016.

Calls to slash stamp duty are welcome, but making sellers rather than buyers liable – as proposed by Pete Redfern, chief executive of the housebuilder Taylor Wimpey – would be nothing short of fiscal chicanery.

The one small, redeeming feature of such a change would be that the same individual would bear both the economic burden of the tax and the legal liability for payment. It would, however, do nothing to resurrect the housing market.

Stamp duties have no place in a modern tax system as they discourage transactions and lead to asset misallocation. Instead of tinkering, stamp duty should be abolished.

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