LONDON, March 19 Britain is clamping down on
property investors who buy homes through a company by expanding
the pool of properties eligible to be taxed, Finance Minister
George Osborne said in his budget speech on Wednesday.
Osborne said that Britain would increase taxation on
residential properties purchased via a company by extending its
scope from residential properties worth over 2 million pounds
($3.31 million) to include those worth more than 500,000 pounds.
"We are expanding the new tax we introduced to stop people
avoiding stamp duty by owning homes through a company," he said.
"From midnight tonight, anyone purchasing residential
property worth over half a million pounds through a corporate
envelope will be required to pay 15 percent stamp duty."
In 2012, Britain introduced stamp duty of up to 15 percent
for purchases of more than 2 million pounds through a company.
Wealthy buyers, especially in London, have used companies as a
way to reduce tax liabilities.
($1 = 0.6034 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Brenda Goh; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)