|Boris Johnson calls for an end to stamp duty avoidance|
Boris Johnson the London Mayer has written to the Daily Telegraph in an effort to highlight the loopholes that enable some people to gain financially through avoiding paying the correct stamp duty. Lots of websites are encouraging people, whilst paying a big fee for the advice, to avoid the duty have sprung up
He has urged the Chancellor George Osborne to take the cash instead.
In his letter to the Daily Telegraph he wrote: "It is all the more extraordinary that there is a billion [pounds] lying on the pavement, under his very nose – and all that the Chancellor has to do is trouser it immediately. It is a billion that is being currently lost to the people of this country, and which is owed to us by very rich people who have come up with all sorts of cunning schemes to avoid paying stamp duty on very posh houses; and he fact that they are not paying it is an utter scandal."
Purchasers are able to avoid stamp duty land tax (SDLT) by transferring ownership of a property to an offshore company so, when it comes to be sold, the buyer purchases the company as a whole, assuming de facto ownership of the property. By doing this the purchaser cuts the stamp duty from 5 per cent to 0.5 per cent. The purchaser also avoids inheritance tax when they die.