On 11th December the Government published the draft Finance Bill, eagerly awaited by all those involved in buying and selling of homes over £2m. Many such properties are owned by ‘non-natural persons’ i.e. companies – for reasons of anonymity but some have viewed such structures as being a method of avoiding stamp duty land tax when a house is bought.
Proposals in the 2012 Budget for such properties to be subject to an annual tax, to inheritance tax and to capital gains tax have destabilised the top end of the housing market and the clarification in the Finance Bill would help developers, investors as well as home owners and their advisors to understand the full impact of what the Government was intending.
On the morning of the 12th December London law firm Mishcon de Reya held a breakfast seminar and 100 or so of the leading property folk to hear what the 1000+ pages really meant. Chaired by Philip Freedman CBE QC (Hon) the panel of partners included Andrew Goldstone, Jonathan Legg & Kassim Meghjee. The event was superbly organised by Susan Freemen and I was flattered to be asked as their guest speaker.
There is more detail on this subject on the Mishcon de Reya website here.