Property and construction firms bemoan UK tax system

Wednesday 5th October 2016

The tax system is viewed as unfavourable to the industry by more than 70% of UK-based property and construction businesses, a survey conducted by audit firm Crowe Clark Whitehill has revealed. 
Some 68% of those surveyed believe that Stamp Duty Land Tax is the biggest tax barrier to business growth. A further 12% see Capital Gains Tax as the biggest blockage. 
Crowe Clark Whitehill’s annual Property and Construction Outlook Report, which offers a 12-month market outlook for the industry, found that an overwhelming number believe residential new builds will be the London property type most impacted by the downturn in the market. 
When it comes to the housing shortage, close to half of respondents believe renovation of brownfield sites will be the future of the London property market. 
“An overhaul of the tax system must be high on the government’s agenda,” Stacy Eden, head of property and construction at Crowe, said.
“A reduction in the tax burden will fuel growth and encourage investment. Cuts to SDLT should be the first step towards this, as we are already seeing the negative impacts of the recent raises on the property market.” 
She added: “Simplification to the planning process to promote efficiency and initiatives to regulate the market are also required. Ensuring that brownfield sites are available for development is crucial – and there is clear demand for this within the industry. 
“Decisive action is needed as the lingering uncertainty from Brexit is hampering confidence. We need to ensure long-term international competitive of our market, and that Brexit does not reduce investment into real estate.”

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