Exceptionally high levels of stamp duty are reported to be discouraging house sales and in particular discouraging older people from down-sizing. Stamp duty on the sale of a £2 million home will amount to £143,000 and on a £600,000 home to £20,000.
The government is also benefiting from increased receipts from inheritance tax (IHT) which result from older people hanging onto their high-value homes, For the first time ever, IHT receipts have exceeded £5 billion, which represents a 9% increase over the previous year and is the highest they have been since the early 1980s.
It is estimated that residential property accounts for one third of the typical estate on which inheritance tax is payable.
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