On 5 December 2012, George Osborne, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered the Autumn Statement.
The Statement contained several key implications for the property industry, examined below:
TAX AND FUNDING -
1. Business rates: Empty property rates -
All new build commercial property completed between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016 is to be exempted from empty property rates. The exemption will apply for the first 18 months following completion, up to the state aid limits.
This proposal is subject to consultation. If implemented it is hoped to encourage developers to progress new projects but it falls short of the cut in rates that many businesses have called for.
2. Stamp Duty Rises -
Subsequent to the Autumn statement the Treasury have also just announced that it will press forward with plans to raise stamp duty to 15% for residential properties worth more than £2m owned by “non-natural persons”. The Treasury made this announcement alongside a flurry of announcements which they published before the upcoming 2013 Finance Bill. This charge will be introduced alongside an annual charge of £15,000 to £140,000, known as an “Annual Residential Property Tax” (ARPT) for properties held within corporate envelopes. The good news is that when the rules do come into force on April 1st, ‘legitimate’ property businesses with more than two years’ trading history will be exempted. ‘Legitimate’ businesses will include social landlords, rental businesses, developers and traders.
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