Unlike the name may suggest, stamp duty has nothing to do with the stamps you put on letters to post them. Instead, stamp duty is a tax that you pay to the government when you buy a house. More precisely stamp duty is the tax paid on the creation of legal documents.
Currently you only need to pay stamp duty if the property costs more than “£125,000 for residential properties and £150,000 for non-residential land and properties.” (Stamp Duty Land Tax, n.d.). For homes £125,001 to £250,000 the tax rate is 2%, £250,001 to £925,000 is 5%, £925,001 to £1.5m is 10% and over £1.5m is 12%. However, this may vary for residential leasehold properties. (Stamp Duty - Everything you need to know, n.d.).
When purchasing a second home with a value above £40,000 an additional 3% is required on top of the original stamp duty. Depending on the value of your second home this could increase. For example, a house worth £500,000 can expect to pay an extra 8%. However, if you sell your main residence and purchase a new main residence at the same time then the 3% higher rate is not applied. If you buy a second home and use it as a main residence but don’t sell the other property at the same time but sell within three years you can reclaim the 3% additional tax back from inland revenue.
The tax must be paid regardless of whether the house is freehold/leasehold or you’re buying it outright or with a mortgage. However, if you’re buying your first home you can get a discount or pay no stamp duty if:
• the purchase is completed on or after 22nd November 2017;
• the purchase price is £500,000 or less;
• you, and anyone else you’re buying with, are first-time buyers.
You pay the tax when you:
• buy a freehold property;
• buy a new or existing leasehold;
• buy a property through a shared ownership scheme;
• are transferred land or property in exchange for payment, eg you take on a mortgage or buy a share in a house.
Source: the facts and figures are courtesy of gov.uk and accurate as of 09:00 28/06/2018.
Using the HRMC stamp duty calculator is a great way to estimate your stamp duty costs.
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