The Prime Minister’s plans to add an additional tax on property purchases by overseas investors has been backed by the Association of Accounting Technicians.
Estate agents may have criticised the idea, but AAT – a qualifications and professional body for accountants which has been campaigning for such a tax since last year – said the move added fairness to the system, pointing out that other countries such as Poland, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland Australia, New Zealand and Singapore impose similar restrictions.
Theresa May hasn’t given any indication of the level of the extra charge, and many overseas investors already have to pay the additional 3% Stamp Duty rate.
Phil Hall, head of public affairs for the AAT, suggested a new tax could raise valuable millions for the Treasury’s coffers.
He said: “This isn’t going to solve the housing supply problem but it’s a sensible and measured response to an increasing problem that will also raise £40-£120m and add a degree of previously absent fairness to the system.
“Put simply, it doesn’t matter how many houses are built in the UK, there will never be enough to meet demand because demand is not simply coming from the 65m currently resident in the UK but from across Europe, Asia and America.
“Years of London property purchases by the super-rich from Russia, China, America and various other countries are well documented, but it’s not just London that overseas investors are setting their sights on.
“Liverpool, Manchester and other parts of the UK are proving equally attractive.
“What’s more, it is no longer the super-rich alone who are snapping up properties across the country.
“Middle income earners from across the world, especially China, Malaysia and Singapore, are finding UK property an increasingly attractive proposition – even more so since the weakness of sterling following Brexit.”