Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) explained
What is Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)?
It’s a tax on property or land bought in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. You’ll have to pay it if your purchase costs over a certain price. If you’re buying property or land in Scotland, you won’t have to pay stamp duty. Instead, you’ll have to pay a Land and Buildings Transaction Tax.
Can you avoid paying stamp duty?
You’ll be charged stamp duty on your property or land purchase if you’re:
- buying freehold property,
- buying a new or existing leasehold, or
- buying a property via a shared ownership programme
You may also have to pay stamp duty if you have full or part ownership of a property or land transferred to you, for example, from marriage, civil partnership, divorce, joint ownership, inheritance or as a gift.
What are the stamp duty rates on residential properties?
You’ll typically have to pay stamp duty if the residential land or property that you’re buying costs over £125,000. How much you’ll have to pay depends on what price band your purchase is in.
If you’re a first-time buyer, you may be able to claim tax relief which excludes you from paying stamp dutyfor properties or land that cost up to £300,000. You’ll still have to pay stamp duty of 5% for the remaining amount.
If you’re buying a second property (for example, a second home, or an additional home to let out) you’ll have to pay an extra 3% in stamp duty. If there’s an overlap in time between selling your old home and purchasing your new one, you may still have to pay second-home stamp duty rates until your current property is sold.
The government has a stamp duty calculator that gives you an indication of how much stamp duty you might have to pay. It only applies to residential properties which cost £500,000 and less.
When do you have to pay stamp duty?
You’ll have to pay stamp duty within 30 days of completing your purchase. If you have a solicitor, agent or conveyancer, they’ll typically file the return on your behalf. Late or non-payment may incur penalties and interest on the tax.
If you’re looking to apply for a mortgage for a home purchase, you may want to check your Equifax Credit Report & Score. Free for the first 30 days then £7.95 monthly, it provides you access to your borrowing history and gives you an indication of how creditworthy a lender may find you.
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