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How Much Stamp Duty Will I Pay?

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One of the questions that mortgage brokers often get asked is, ‘How much stamp duty will I have to pay?

Stamp duty has long been the nuisance of the property purchaser. With removal, solicitors and estate agents’ fees to pay, the additional cost of duty tax can sometimes be a forgotten cost. It is in effect a tax in lump sum form that buyers of properties over a certain price all must pay regardless of their income. As the amount of stamp duty differs for commercial and residential properties, we will look at stamp duty in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on residential property purchases.

To answer the questions How much stamp duty will I have to pay? Lets look at the rates:

Current duty rates are:

Up to £125 = 0%

£125K to £250K = 2%

£250K to £925K = 5%

£925K to £1.5m = 10%

Anything over £1.5m = 12%

These rates of duty tax which came into effect during 2014 have been designed to be a bit fairer than previously as they spread the duty costs across the price band. This however does mean that calculations have become more complicated.

For simplicity, let’s look at the duty for a property priced at £300,000. The value of your new property up to £125,000 is stamp duty free – you will pay no duty tax on that amount. This means that if you buy a property that is under £125,000 (your London mortgage broker will tell you how unlikely this is) you won’t pay any stamp. The portion of your property between the values of £125,000 and £250,000 will collect a stamp tax cost of 2%. In the case of our £300,000 house that will be 2% of £125,000 which is £2,500.

The portion of your property above the value of £250,000 will collect a 5% duty cost. On your £300,000 house this will be 5% of £50,000 which is coincidentally another £2,500. When you total those costs, you can see that your duty bill for a £300,000 property will be £5,000.

However, it is important to remember that these only apply in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, in Scotland they have Land and Buildings Transaction tax which works in a similar way but would create a slightly lower cost on your £300,000 property.

… And don’t forget that if you will own more than one residential property on completion then you will be subject to an additional 3% banding on the duty.

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Bitcoin Implied Volatility Plummets To Pre-Bull Market Levels: What This Means

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Bitcoin has sharply declined in the past month which has dragged it down to the $40K price point. The digital asset’s downtrend had then promptly dragged their metrics like implied volatility down with it. This decline has been even sharper as bears have gotten a tighter grip on the market. For some, this could be bad news. However, for others, it could mean a period of opportunity.

Bitcoin Implied Volatility Crumbles

Bitcoin’s implied volatility is a metric that is used to illustrate investor expectations of future price volatility of the digital asset going forward. This metric is not only prominent in the crypto space but is used across a number of actives to map out investor expectations over time when it comes to volatility. If this metric is high, then investors are clearly expecting price volatility to be on the high side going forward, which is why this is an important metric for investors, especially those invested for the short term.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Millionaires Are Flocking To This North American Tax Haven. But What Do The Locals Think?

For bitcoin, implied volatility has been on a steady downtrend since the end of 2021. This follows the price movements which have also recorded a similar downtrend in its value. The implied volatile downtrend however ramped up even more at the beginning of this year. It is important to note that low implied volatility (IV) for bitcoin is uncharacteristic, hence why it is important.

BTC implied volatility declines | Source: Arcane Research

With such low levels, volatility bets become a more attractive venture for bitcoin where they can buy call and put options. One thing about low IV levels for bitcoin is that they tend to extend for a Lon time. An example of this is the low IV levels recorded in June 2020 that lasted for six months into December 2020.

Bitcoin’s IV is being impacted by a number of factors, including decentralized finance (DeFi) innovations that are popping up around the corner.

BTC Price Movements

Bitcoin has been moving more or less erratically over the past few months. After hitting its peak of $69K, the digital asset had gone a consistent descent that saw it lose over 30% of the all-time high value. Additionally, the digital asset high is known to be a market mover has dragged the market down with it, losing about $300 billion off its own market cap in the process.

Related Reading | What’s In Store For MicroStrategy Going Forward? CEO Michael Saylor Reveals

Bitcoin has however held strong above the $40K point. The digital asset continues to show strong support at this point, suggesting that this is the point for bulls to hold and for bears to beat.

Bitcoin price chart from TradingView.com

BTC at $42K | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

In the last 24 hours, the price of BTC has grown from the low $41,000 to above $42,000, adding about $1,000 to its value just as the markets begin to open for midweek trading. The price of the digital asset is currently trending at $42,300, with indicators pointing towards a retest of the $42,500 resistance point.

Featured image from Binaryx, charts from Arcane Research and TradingView.com
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Reports Show Government Intends To Imply Stricter Regulations On Cryptocurrency ATMs

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Reports Show Government Intends To Imply Stricter Regulations On Cryptocurrency ATMs

In a press release yesterday, the federal agency stated that crypto kiosks, or cryptocurrency ATMs, played a major role in the increasing crimes. The United States GAO (Government Accountability Office) blames crypto kiosks for increasing drug trafficking and human trafficking.

Their reason, however, was that cryptocurrency ATMs aren’t as restricted as crypto exchanges, making their transactions harder to track. The GAO projects that it can be more difficult to curtail illegal transactions as crypto kiosks are becoming more and more popular in the U.S. and worldwide.

Related Reading | Altcoins Are Encroaching On Bitcoin’s Dominance On Digital Payments

To salvage these impending problems arising from crypto kiosks, the GAO recommended that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and IRS cooperate to place more effective regulations on crypto ATMs.

Total Market Cap declines by 3% on daily chart | Source: TradingView.com

While observing the challenges in battling crypto-related crimes, GAO explained that the lack of information about crypto kiosks restrains law enforcement’s capability to defeat crime.

Several Agencies Battle Crypto Crimes

In the report, GAO also observes how, globally, cryptocurrencies are used in facilitating crimes and trafficking. Also, agencies have arisen to resist the increase of crypto-associated crimes. These agencies include the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S Postal Service (USPS), and even the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The Irregularities of Crypto Crimes

Although the study shows that crypto-related crimes have upsurged irregularly. Recently, a new report from the crypto research company showed the contrary. In the latter research’s findings, crypto crimes reached their lowest point in 2021-contrary to its increasing volume of the entire blockchain transactions in the year.

Thus, as cryptocurrencies become more adopted, crypto-related crimes will simultaneously increase. However, the expansion of overall crypto transactions is far-outperforming some criminal activity.

Crypto Kiosks And Human Trafficking

The GAO’s report showed that cryptocurrency has recently been adopted as a means of payment for human trafficking. By ‘human trafficking,’ we imply sex trafficking and labor trafficking. More commonly, sex traffickers now adopt cryptocurrencies as a payment option.

Crypto ATMs And Drug Trafficking

The report also stated that after the shutdown of Silk Road-the online dark web market—in 2013, the entire hidden web marketplace has become more secure. Thus, making the marketplace for illicit drugs more difficult for the law to detect. Again, this is because of the growth of smaller marketplaces.

Tightening Gaps Against Cryptocurrency ATMs

The GAO’s problem with cryptocurrency ATMs is that, although the ATM operators must be registered with the FinCEN, they don’t usually notify law enforcement agencies about their ATMs’ locations. That action impedes the federal agencies’ access to locate ATMs in areas stated as high-risk regions for financial crimes.

Related Reading | American Rapper Lil Baby On Holding Bitcoin And Ethereum Over Fiat

Thus, by increasing regulations on cryptocurrency ATMs, the GAO presumes that enforcing the government will access better information. Also, they will be able to locate potentially illegal transactions.

Featured image from Pixabay, chart from TradingView.com
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India’s PM Calls For A Common Global Approach For Tackling Crypto

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Cryptocurrencies India

At the WEF’s 2022 Davos agenda, Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister, called for a united global stand to tackle the issues emerging from the cryptocurrencies’ increasing adoption. The key takeaway of the Indian PM’s talk was, “A single country cannot tackle the challenges from crypto well enough.”

Call For A Standard Global Approach

Talking for all intents and purposes at the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Davos Agenda on Monday, the Indian Prime Minister discussed several challenges, including a requirement for a common global practice to deal with cryptocurrencies.

He said at the WEF agenda;

“The kind of technology that is associated with it, the decisions taken by a single country will be insufficient to deal with its challenges. We have to have a similar mindset.”

Despite not having significant industry regulations and laws for protecting investors, crypto trading in India keeps gaining traction. Due to profoundly different perspectives of crypto industry representatives and financial sector regulators, the government plans to pass a bill in this challenging situation to protect investors better.

The India PM added,

“Cryptocurrency is an example of the kind of challenges we are facing as a global family with a changing global order. To fight this, every nation, every global agency needs to have collective and synchronized action.”

Modi Government Undecided On Crypto Bill

In December 2022, during the winter session parliament discussion, the crypto bill was the top priority for the debates. Still, the government could not finalize things because it could not stand firm on a few critical issues.

Related Reading | India: A Back & Forth Affair With Cryptocurrency

According to some sources, the government concluded that they would look for worldwide help figuring out a common approach. Still, the authorities have not yet confirmed why they failed to produce the bill to parliament.

Total market cap at $1.977 trillion | Source: Crypto Total Market Cap on TradingView.com

Modi’s Recent Speeches And The Crypto

In the last quarter’s time span, the Indian Prime Minister has spoken at several world forums many times, but he never talked about this issue to the local audience in India.

In November 2021, at the Sydney Dialogue, Modi, in his speech, forewarned that we must protect emerging tech from any mishandling. Likewise, during the US President Joe Biden-facilitated Democracy Summit, Modi said emerging technologies ought to ensure a majority rule system, not subvert it.

Emphasizing his stance on the matter at the WEF’ Davos Agenda 2022, Modi noted,

“He reiterated this stance during his WEF speech yesterday. “That’s why every democratic nation has the responsibility to bring about an emphasis towards reforms in these institutions to make them capable enough to deal with modern challenges in the future.”

The event in question, Davos Agenda of the WEF, is being held from 17-21 this month, January 2022. Several state heads are lined up to address the event.

Related Reading | How India Sees Crypto: Large Exchange Shows 10x Growth In User Base

International organizations, top industry leaders, and civil society will also participate in the summit. It aims at the deliberations on critical challenges that the world faces today and discusses how to tackle them.

Chart from TradingView.com
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