BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Wales  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 09:30 GMT
MP calls for stamp duty refunds
House for sale
Stamp duty normally applies on houses over 60,000
A south Wales MP has claimed homebuyers could needlessly be paying thousands of pounds in stamp duty because of out of date records.

Vale of Glamorgan MP John Smith said he had saved around a dozen of his own constituents more than 10,000 after discovering the problem.

This is running into thousands (of cases) and that's just in my constituency alone

John Smith MP

In an effort to stimulate the housing market, Chancellor Gordon Brown abolished stamp duty on property sales of up to 150,000 in some of the poorest communities.

But, although the changes were announced in the Budget last November, Mr Smith has claimed the new rules have not yet been properly introduced - meaning thousands of housebuyers have continued to pay the charge.

Mr Smith said the matter came to light after a couple approached him after buying a property in Barry.

Geraint Miles, of Oakfields, mistakenly paid over 1,200 in stamp duty, and was advised by Mr Smith to contact his solicitor. He has since claimed the money back.

"I fear that this problem could be far more widespread than we initially thought," Mr Smith said.

Vale of Glamorgan MP John Smith
John Smith : concerns

"I would advise anyone who has bought a house in Barry since December 2001 that is less than five years old to speak to the Inland Revenue." Mr Miles' solicitors had told him the house was subject to stamp duty even though he believed the area the home was in was exempt from the tax.

Mr Smith said the solicitors had checked the postcode on the Inland Revenue internet site, but the information was out of date and the buyers were, in fact, entitled to claim a discount.

The MP said the rate of claimants per week had now doubled in his constituency.

"As an MP for this area, I put out a report each year and I mentioned (the abolition of) stamp duty and for people to check," he said.

"We were inundated with calls saying 'Can you check for us? We don't think we should have paid.'

"This is running into thousands (of cases) and that's just in my constituency alone.

poor areas

"My advice to anybody who has bought a new home in the last three to five years in an area which could be exempt is..to get hold of their solicitor again and get them to check it."

He has also written to chancellor Gordon Brown to ask him how many people have been affected across the UK.

Mr Smith says the problem is concentrated in traditionally poor areas where new housing developments are helping to regenerate the area, such as the new Waterfront housing development in Barry.

In his pre-budget report in November 2002, chancellor Gordon Brown said: "We will, in 2,000 wards in constituencies throughout the country and for all property transactions for homes and business properties worth up to 150,000, abolish stamp duty."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Wales' Sian Lloyd
"Exemption is based on electoral districts rather than postcodes"

News

Analysis

Tools

FORUM

TALKING POINT

More from south east Wales
See also:

10 Feb 03 | Business
27 Jan 03 | Business
25 Jan 03 | Business
23 Jan 03 | Business
12 Feb 03 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Wales stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes