The internet is being used to highlight the enormous tax savings on offer to homeowners who swap houses, rather than put them up for sale.
UK tax law requires homeowners exchanging property worth more than £60,000 to pay only £5 stamp duty, plus duty on the difference in value between the two houses, giving scope to knock thousands off the cost of moving.
While the first £60,000 of any residential property sale is free of stamp duty, homes valued at between £60,000 and £250,000 pay at a rate of one per cent. Between £250,000 to £500,000 the duty rises to three per cent, levelling out at the top rate of four per cent on properties valued at over £500,000.
Although thousands of property exchanges are currently completed each year, experts say many more people should be taking advantage of this tax saving method.
Patrick Cannon, head of stamp duty at Arthur Andersen, said: "There can be no excuse for failing to take advantage of a tax saving arrangement that has been endorsed by the Treasury and the Inland Revenue."
Jonathan Attwood, chief executive at webswappers.com, told vnunet.com: "Estate agents have avoided property swapping due to the extra work in matching people. The internet provides an easy and effective way of electronically allowing people to match swaps. It provides a single point of information offering a local service on a global scale that can be easily accessed."
"Our site also lets homeowners register their preferences and receive email notifications of matches, and they can have a 'For Swap' sign for their property and a digital photo of their house scanned into the site for £65," he added.
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