Land and Buildings Transaction Tax: First-Time Buyer Relief consultation analysis

Analysis of responses to the public consultation and the Scottish Government Response.

4. Other Considerations – Responses

Question 5: Do you agree with the Scottish Government's position on linked transactions? If not, in what scenarios should relief be available where there is a linked transaction.

All organisational respondents proposed that the LBTT position should mirror the UK Stamp Duty: Land Tax ( SDLT) relief which allows for the relief to apply to linked transactions in two specific circumstances.

CIOT commented: "We note that the relief from SDLT for first-time buyers introduced by the UK government with effect from November 2017 has a general exclusion for linked transactions, but makes an exception in two circumstances. The UK relief will be available in cases where, either the purchase is linked to a transaction for land that is or forms part of the gardens or grounds of the dwelling, or the purchase is linked to a transaction for land that subsists for the benefit of either the dwelling or its garden and grounds, such as rights of way."

Alternatively, there were some comments from individuals about the merits of adding complexity to the relief by including the exceptions if those linked transactions do not occur frequently in Scotland.

Question 6: Are there other issues, not covered in this consultation, that should be addressed in the legislation or guidance?

Those responses to Question 7 which did not contain technical comments on the draft legislation have been analysed and responded to as part of this question.

In general, respondents called for very clear guidance from Revenue Scotland to ensure that professionals are able to give their clients the best advice possible. Propertymark suggested that plans should be made to engage with and inform the industry about the relief.

The timing of implementation was also raised. Homes for Scotland felt that the Scottish Government should keep to the timeline announced during the Budget and minimise delays to the Parliamentary process in order for the relief to be in place by June 2018. While respondents differed on the exact date, most suggested it should be available to individuals whose transactions completed at a point after the announcement was made. For example, an individual comment summarised: "Anybody who would have been covered by this legislation between the date it was initially proposed and the date it is eventually implemented should be allowed to claim back the LBTT which they should have had relief on."

General comments were made by respondents in relation to the efficacy of the relief, and some commented on unrelated policy areas which were not within the scope of the consultation.


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