The stamp duty property tax is currently a hot topic within the housing industry - and both the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla) want the government to reform the system.

Both groups have teamed up to form the 1808 Coalition, which aims to modernise the structure of the property tax.

Named after the year that stamp duty was first introduced in the UK, the alliance has been formed to highlight the levy's position as a "relic"of the property industry.

The NAEA and Arla want an extension of the stamp duty holiday, which has seen all properties bought for under £175,000 avoid the tax and - according to Halifax - help 31 per cent of property buyers purchase a home tax-free.

Earlier this year, the government announced that this arrangement will come to an end on December 31st 2009.

Peter Bolton-King, chief executive of the NAEA, said that the current system penalises those with buy-to-let portfolios, as they must pay stamp duty "on the bulk price when individual buy-to-let investors pay a lower rate on the individual unit price".

Individuals looking to buy their first home and those who want to move up the housing ladder also see it as a barrier, he added.

Written by Claire Doyle

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