Retailers, investors and developers could save millions of pounds in stamp duty from next month, after the European Commission gave the green light to an expansion of exemptions from the tax.
Commercial property transactions in disadvantaged areas will be exempt from 4 per cent stamp duty if they are completed after the Chancellor's Budget next month, according to law firm Pinsent Curtis Biddle.
The Stamp Duty (Disadvantaged Areas) Regulations came into force in November 2001, but the changes have been on hold while the Commission decided whether they contravened European state aid laws.
The Inland Revenue has announced that the regulations will come into force after the Budget.
Pinsent Curtis Biddle national head of property tax Ian Hyde said: 'This will have a major effect on the UK's retail sector. Developers involved with disadvantaged areas should seriously consider delaying the completion of their projects until after the Budget.'
The stamp duty exemption applies to a specific list of local authority wards, designated as areas of deprivation. A list of the qualifying wards is available at www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk.