The Scottish Government launched a tax consultation yesterday, proposing the removal of the slab Stamp Duty Land Tax format and a boost to homebuyer affordability in Scotland.
Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney's proposals will overhaul the UK system to make sure ‘no-one is asked to pay more than they can legitimately afford.'
"Our consultation signals our preference for a move from the UK's slab tax approach to a progressive system of taxation where the amount paid is more closely related to the value of the property and therefore to the ability of the individual to pay.
"At the same time our consultation also indicates a willingness to adjust the threshold at which taxation is levied in order to support those at the lowest end of the market," he said.
The paper proposes to either ban the tax on properties below £180,000 to boost the first-time buyer market or extending the ban to all properties worth less than £325,000, benefiting roughly 95% of the market.
The move will come into force in April 2015 under the Scotland Act, allowing the Scottish Parliament to set its own land taxes for the first time, with those purchasing property at higher values paying more, said Swinney.
The consultation will also cover reliefs and exemptions and anti-avoidance measures.
The transfer of powers in the Scotland Act falls significantly short of our ambition for full fiscal autonomy, said the Minister.
"[That] would allow this parliament to design and set all taxes in the interests of stimulating economic growth, supporting the public services of Scotland and building social cohesion and wellbeing."
A spokesperson from the Council of Mortgage Lenders said it supports the move and wishes the UK government would consider a similar review.
"This is something we've been pushing for in the UK for a long time. The slab Stamp Duty Land Tax structure skews the property market and a government review of the system is long overdue."
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