Budget 2014: 15pc tax on property loophole

Previously buyers were at an advantage when buying as a company rather than individually.

Osborne said: “We are expanding the new tax we introduced to stop people avoiding stamp duty by owning homes through a company.

“We will expand the tax on residential properties worth over £2m to those worth more than £500,000.

“And from midnight tonight anyone purchasing residential property worth over half a million pounds through a corporate envelope will be required to pay 15% stamp duty.

“None of this applies to homes that are rented out.

“Many of these are empty properties held in corporate envelopes to avoid stamp duty.

“This abuse will end.”

Toby Ryland, corporate tax partner, was pleased at the announcement which he said will favour UK buyers.

He added: “Few will shed tears for the wealthy foreign buyers of British property who could suddenly face a 15% rate of Stamp Duty.

“The Chancellor’s decision to close this tax loophole is more about levelling the playing field than boosting the tax take.

“Don’t expect the overheating London property market to miss a beat, but these new measures may encourage developers to sell more properties to UK buyers rather than overseas investors.”