Housing boost

Emergency law helps movers hit by ‘second home tax’

Aberdein Considine sale

Home sales were hampered by the health emergency

Emergency legislation has been tabled to help home movers hit by COVID-19 delays.

People who bought a new house before selling their old home are being given an extra nine months to reclaim their 4% Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS), Scotland’s tax on second homes.

Movers are traditionally given 18 months to sell their old home and claim the rebate, which can often run into tens of thousands of pounds. However, many have been left struggling to meet the deadline following the temporary closure of the application record by the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland in March.

The Scottish Government has listened to concerns and has included changes in its Coronavirus (Number Two) (Scotland) Bill, which is expected to be passed by the Scottish Parliament this week.

Under the legislation, individuals who bought a new main residence between 24 Sep 2019 and 24 March 2020 and paid ADS will now have 27 months to sell their previous main residence.

The draft legislation also gives the Scottish Government power to extend the 27 month period further, or to change the purchases which it applies to, if that is necessary for COVID-19 related reasons.

Bob Fraser, Senior Property Partner at Aberdein Considine, said: “People involved in property transactions are grateful for any help right now, so this change would be welcomed.”

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