Action urged on Hong Kong flat grabs in first-time buys

31 March 2017

Senior Partner Lilian Chiang was quoted in the South China Morning Post on ways that the government can plug a loophole in the tax regime after the number of first-time buyers purchasing multiple properties in one go to avoid paying a levy has risen sharply.

Lilian said the government could amend the existing Stamp Duty Ordinance so that anyone purchasing more than one flat would be “treated as a second-time home buyer even for a single transaction.”

Under this scenario, second-time homebuyers would be liable to pay the standard stamp duty of 15 per cent, rather than the previous rate of 4.25 per cent for such buyers.

“It’s not difficult at all to plug the loophole. It’s just a matter of whether the government is willing to do it or not,” she concluded.

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