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Budget 2012 - offshore loophole closed

The government has closed a loophole around the payment of stamp duty land tax.

Under the loophole, properties purchased by offshore companies could buy and sell the properties while only having to pay a stamp duty charge of 0.5 per cent. Under changes brought about by yesterday's Budget, such properties will now be hit with a 15 per cent rate of stamp duty.

The government is also considering an annual charge on residential properties owned by entities such as companies. The changes are expected to have the biggest effect on the Central London property market, where a large number of high-end properties are purchased using offshore structures.

Further information from taxguide.co.uk on offshore is available here.

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