Stamp Duty receipts plummet as lockdown dents HMRC’s tax take

Property market restrictions during the lockdown period made a big dent in the Government’s Stamp Duty receipts, official figures show.

HMRC data shows just £548m was raised from Stamp Duty taxes in April as the taxman saw big drops in its overall tax take.

The Stamp Duty revenue was down 40.9% on a monthly basis and 43% annually.

It comes as HMRC figures showed the number of property sales halved during the lockdown period.

Sean Randall, a Stamp Duty expert and a partner at tax advisory firm Blick Rothernberg, suggested reform of the tax may be needed to boost the property market.

He said: “The Government’s monthly tax revenue statistics show the extent of the fall in property transactions during the full month of April and the possible longer-term impact to the Exchequer.

“Already, taking into account just one month of lockdown, the Stamp Duty revenue for the 12-month period ending last month has fallen by 6.32% compared to the same period last year.

“Our experience is that sector activity seems to be increasing, albeit from a low base, but we expect the drop in revenue for the 12-month period ending next month to be even greater.

“The latest figures probably capture sales pursuant to contracts exchanged pre-lockdown. If that is right, pressure will surely build on the Government for some type of Stamp Duty fix.”

Total receipts across all taxes collected by HMRC were down 42% annually in April, HMRC tax data shows.

The figures reveal that the taxman paid out more in VAT than it collects last month, which has been attributed to payment deferrals being granted to businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

The table below from investment platform AJ Bell shows the drop in tax receipts last month.

HMRC tax receipts

Tax type

Apr-19

Apr-20

Percentage change

Total HMRC receipts

60,950

35,112

-42%

Total Income Tax

18,346

14,551

-21%

Of which: PAYE Income Tax

18,284

15,587

-15%

Of which: SA Income Tax

-183

-765

319%

Capital Gains Tax

5

7

51%

Apprenticeship Levy

271

210

-22%

NICs

13,525

11,120

-18%

VAT

13,041

-897

-107%

Total Corporation Tax

7,284

3,265

-55%

Bank Levy

560

611

9%

Bank Surcharge

427

298

-30%

Fuel duties

2,380

1,245

-48%

IHT

456

307

-33%

Shares

276

439

59%

Stamp Duty Land Tax

962

548

-43%

Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings

76

68

-9%

Tobacco duties

647

1,538

138%

Spirits duties

313

298

-5%

Beer duties

305

96

-69%

Wines duties

347

280

-19%

Cider duties

25

14

-47%

Betting & Gaming

361

225

-38%

Air Passenger Duty

284

29

-90%

Insurance Premium Tax

322

249

-22%

Landfill Tax

35

38

9%

Climate Change Levy

299

271

-9%

Aggregates Levy

37

33

-11%

Soft Drinks Industry Levy

77

30

-61%

Customs Duties

261

208

-20%

Penalties

29

30

4%

Source: HMRC/AJ Bell.

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