The new rules which could see some farmers avoid stamp duty hike
Recently agreed changes to the Finance Bill will allow farmers that both sell and purchase land for the purposes of consolidating an existing farm holding avoid the recent stamp duty hike.
For the relief to operate, there must be both a sale and a purchase of land within a period of 24 months.
Where other qualifying conditions are satisfied, stamp duty will be paid only to the extent that the value of the land that is purchased exceeds the value of the land that is sold.
A reduced rate of 1pc will be charged on the excess, if any, of the purchase value.
If the sale takes place before the purchase, relief will be given at the time of purchase.
However, if the purchase takes place first, stamp duty will have to be paid but can subsequently be refunded when the sale takes place.
When the stamp duty relief previously applied, a maximum period of 18 months was allowed between a purchase and a sale.
However, in this case the Government is set to increase this period to 24 months in line with the capital gains tax relief.