Rettie & Co: Residential LBTT up year-on-year but future outlook remains uncertain
New research from Rettie & Co has revealed that Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) returns were up 1.2% in 2019/20.
The firm has also found that LBTT revenues had increased by 10% from the previous year, however, the future remains uncertain due to the severe impact of the coronavirus crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant overall revenues for April and May this year were down by 67% on the year before.
Rettie & Co has also revealed that ADS revenue looks like it is exceeding £100m for the third year running and is now over 30% of total residential LBTT revenue.
The research has indicated that the middle to upper parts of the market continue to pay a significant proportion of LBTT revenue (10% of sales over £325k contribute three-quarters of revenue). This poses a risk if this part of the market weakens, as has happened at the start of 2020/21.
The Scottish Government has recently introduced an LBTT ‘holiday’ for the rest of the financial year, which will produce a saving up to £2,100 on property sales.
However, Rettie & Co have said that there other alternative measures the government could look at to stimulate market activity such as reductions or exemptions for certain groups, revising tax bandings based on firm evidence of behavioural change, and tying LBTT payments to the energy efficiency of homes.