Mortgage lenders are urging the Government to overhaul the "perverse and distorting" stamp duty system which is acting as a drag on the housing market recovery.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said the impact of the tax on home buyers' up-front costs clashes with Government initiatives such as Help to Buy, which are aimed at giving a helping hand to credit-worthy people who have limited amount of cash to fund a deposit.
In its regular "news and views" release, the CML said that the current tax year of 2013/14 marks the first period since the onset of the credit crunch in which the tax take has been supported by a pick-up in house sales as well as uplifts in house prices in some areas.
The CML said: "This combination is expected to deliver a significant increase in revenue for the Treasury in the coming years - unless we finally see a reform to this much-criticised tax."
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) previously predicted residential stamp duty revenues of £5.9 billion for the year.
But the CML said it now looks "as if revenue in the current year will not be very far from the previous peak figure of £6.7 billion reached in 2007-08 - even though transactions this year are likely to total only around one million, compared to 1.6 million in 2007."
It said: "Increasing revenue from stamp duty exacerbates its perverse and market-distorting effects...
"It is also in conflict with policy initiatives seeking to help borrowers address the high-up-front costs of buying a home."
The CML warned that without reform, there could be an "increasingly inefficient" use of housing stock, with larger homes remaining disproportionately in the hands of elderly people as people are put off buying and selling.
The Government launched the new phase of its flagship Help to Buy scheme last month, which offers state-backed loans to people with deposits as low as 5%. The scheme is the latest in a string of initiatives to get the market moving again.
But surging house prices in some areas as the market recovery gathers pace are pushing homes into higher stamp duty brackets and some experts have raised concerns of a looming house price "bubble".
The TaxPayers' Alliance launched a Stamp Out Stamp Duty campaign in August, after finding that more than a quarter of home buyers in England and Wales are now paying stamp duty at the higher rates of 3% or more and facing bills of over £7,500.
Sales of residential properties are free of stamp duty up to the value of £ 125,000 and attract a 1% tax between over £125,000 and £250,000. Rising house prices mean purchasers are increasingly paying at the higher rates of 3% applied to homes worth over £250,000 and up to £500,000, 4% on those valued at up to £1 million, 5% on those worth over £1 million and up to £2 million and 7% beyond that point.
Because stamp duty is imposed on the total value of the property, and not just the portion of the price which is above the threshold, families buying a home for between £250,000 and £500,000 pay between £7,500 and £15,000. Purchases between £500,000 and £1 million attract a levy of between £20,000 and £40,000.
Recent Land Registry figures showed that house prices in England and Wales were up 3.4% on a year earlier, to make an average property worth more than £167,000. In London, prices have surged by more than 9% year-on-year, although in the North West they have risen by just 0.6%.
The CML said: "We have long-advocated fundamental reform of residential stamp duty, and in particular the removal of the 'slab' structure, which creates distortions in house prices at the points at which higher rates of duty come into effect.
"We favour the introduction of a marginal rate system similar to income tax."
The CML pointed to the prospect for reform in Scotland, where parliament has paved the way for a new land and buildings transaction tax in 2015.
It said: "The new levy will not have a 'slab' structure but will instead be a progressive tax."
It said home buyers in Wales are also likely to see reform, with the Welsh Government expected to publish proposals for levying stamp duty.
But the CML said that while it welcomes the "long overdue" reforms in Scotland and Wales, the effect for the UK as a whole will be "modest" as more than 94% of UK residential stamp duty is paid by buyers in England, where prices tend to be higher.