The Association of Taxation Technician (ATT) has warned that a planned increase to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) for non-UK residents may affect certain couples planning to buy a home.

The planned change that is outlined in a HMRC consultation, states non-UK residents buying a home in England or Northern Ireland will now be charged an extra 1% SDLT surcharge.

This change is thought to discourage purchases of property by foreign investors, as the Government believes these are causing an increase in house prices in the UK.

However, the ATT says it is concerned the changes may also impact couples where one lives or works abroad, but the other lives permanently in the UK.

As the surcharge would apply to joint purchases where at least one individual lives outside of the UK, couples in this situation who want to buy a home together or move house would be required to pay the extra charge.

Michael Steed, co-chair of ATT’s technical steering group, said this was “not in line with the policy aim of helping UK residents to get on the housing ladder”.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) also raised concerns about the proposed charge, arguing it would introduce further complexity to property taxes and cause more confusion for some homebuyers.

Brian Slater, chair of the CIOT’s property taxes sub-committee, said: “SDLT has been the subject of technical change in virtually every year since its introduction in 2003. We urge the Government to refrain from making further changes before the impact of recent changes to the taxation of residential property are assessed.”

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