Most people have heard of it but not a lot of people understand it properly. If you are one of the many confused folks that need to know a bit more about stamp duty and how it works on house purchases then read our handy guide below.
What Is Stamp Duty?
If you buy a residential property or a piece of land in England or Northern Ireland over a certain price then the tax you may have to pay on it is called Stamp Duty. If you’re buying a property in Scotland, instead of Stamp Duty you will pay LBTT (Land and Buildings Transaction Tax) and likewise in Wales, you will pay LTT rates (Land Transaction Tax) rather than Stamp Duty itself. Whether you’re buying the property outright or with a mortgage, this tax still applies to both freehold and leasehold properties.
You will not have to pay Stamp Duty on properties costing up to £500,000, if you’re buying your main property up until 30 June 2021. This is applicable to first-time buyers and to those already on the property ladder having previously owned a property. The value of the property over £500,000 dictates the Stamp Duty rate which you pay for properties over the £500,000 mark.
How does Stamp Duty Holiday work?
The Government’s Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday runs until 31st March 2021 and removes the standard rate of SDLT for transactions under £500,000 in England. Transactions over this amount will have to pay SDLT on the additional sum.
It has been implemented to kick-start the property market after COVID-19 put a halt to the majority of transactions
How much is stamp duty?
It varies as there are several rate bands for Stamp Duty and each depends on your classification (band) as a buyer and the type of property you are purchasing. The Stamp Duty tax is calculated on the part of the property purchase price falling within each band.
If the property you’re buying costs more than £500,000, you’ll only pay Stamp Duty based on the revised rate bands in your residing area. However, up until the end of June 2021, any property costing up to £500,000 will not be accompanied by any Stamp Duty at all.
Stamp Duty Holiday Extension
The new deadline for the Stamp Duty holiday to end is now 30th June 2021 after the government announced a 3-month extension earlier this year. The idea behind the prolonged scheme is to allow the housing market the best opportunity to flourish and get back on its feet after feeling the impact of COVID-19. Potentially, this means that you could possibly save up to £10,000 in stamp duty if you purchase a home for £500,000 as you will not pay Stamp Duty tax on any property up to the value of £500,000 before the end of June 2021. This deadline is approaching fast so it’s unlikely at tjhe time of writing that you will be able to complete a purchase by the end of June.
However, there is still a 3-month period following the end of the extension where the standard level of the tax threshold will be doubled to £250,000 for the nil rate band. This means that between now and the end of September 2021 you can still buy a property up to £250,000 and move house without paying stamp duty. At the end of September 2021 this will end and things will go back to normal and any property sold for more than £125,000 will be accompanied by the usual Stamp Duty threshold and rates. The tax bands from 1st July 2021 to the 30th September 2021 are below:
|Purchase of Main Residence|
|Purchase price bands (£)||Rate|
|Up to £250,000||0%|
|The next £675,000 (from £250,001 to £925,000)||5%|
|The next £575,000 (from £925,001 to £1.5 million)||10%|
|The remaining amount (above £1.5 million)||12%|
The repayment of higher rates of Stamp Duty is worth noting in case of a delay in the sale of your existing residence. If this occurs after you have bought a new property then technically your name is on the documents of two houses and in the eyes of the law, you own two properties. Therefore regulations say that until the sale of your first property goes through you have to pay the higher Stamp duty tax.
Don’t worry too much about this because you can apply for a refund of the higher SDLT rate part of your Stamp Duty bill if you give away or sell the property within a three year period of purchasing your new home. It is a pain but you have time to sort it out if it does happen to you.
You should always check the terms and conditions and read up on clauses and policies regarding Stamp Duty or its equivalent in different countries as there is often a loophole to exploit and sometimes it is a massive money saver. A little bit of research could save you thousands which nobody is going to turn down if the discount is there. For example;
The official stamp duty holiday is applicable to Shared Ownership. This means that anyone interested in purchasing a home through Shared Ownership may be eligible and subsequently benefit from paying no stamp duty at all. For any Stamp Duty questions of any kind, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us for clarification.