SDLT is paid on any residential properties valued over £125,000 and any non-residential properties over £150,000. There are a number of factors involved which could result in certain reliefs being applicable. Some people buying a first home may even not pay any SDLT at all.
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People who complete their purchase on or after 22 November 2017, have a purchase price less than £500,000 and who are making a first purchase will have their tax bill lowered.
There are other reliefs and rules in place for:
Multiple dwellingsBuilding companies buying an individual’s homeEmployers buying an employee’s houseLocal authorities making compulsory purchasesProperty developers providing amenities to communitiesCompanies transferring property to another companyCharitiesRight to buy propertiesRegistered social landlords
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SDLT will be levied on many home purchases (Image: GETTY)
SDLT will not be charged on first home purchases (Image: GETTY)
Separate from these reliefs are exemptions which completely get rid of a SDLT bill entirely.
A person will not have to pay SDLT or file a return if no money or other payment changes hands for a land or property transfer, if a property is left to them in a will, property is transferred because of divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, a freehold property is bought for less than £40,000 or if there are assigned leases of more than seven years.
The government provide guidance on all of these factors but it will likely be hard for some people to keep up with it all.
Thankfully, the Money Advice Service, provide an easy to use calculator that can help with these issues.
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To start off with, the tool asks for the user’s purchasing situation, which covers if the buyer is making a first home or a second property.
It will then ask for the property’s price.
The calculator will then display what stamp duty is cue along with its effective tax rate.
This is all the information the user will likely need but the calculator will provide further information if required.
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The tool can explain how the calculations are worked out.
It is kept up to date with the latest rate changes and it displays what different valued properties will be charged.
Aside from the basics, the page also provides information on upfront home buying costs, mortgage fees and tips for “moving days”.
Once the user has this information they will need to act fast.
Tax rates vary across the world (Image: EXPRESS)
An SDLT return must be completed and returned to HMRC within 14 days of completion.Usually, a solicitor, agent or conveyancer will handle all of this on behalf of the buyer but if help isn’t available, a buyer will need to handle it themselves.
If this isn’t done correctly, penalties and interest could be charged.SDLT will be kept an eye on as the 2020 budget approaches. The rates are a common target for changes and this will make some people nervous as they can already be as high as 12 percent.
Nothing is confirmed until the official budget is revealed but the government has previously detailed that they wish to levy a surcharge of three percent on non residential individuals and companies.
While this is mainly targeted on foreign property buyers looking to make a return with UK property, some people worry that the change may result in less revenue for the country. Some property investors may not want to place their money in British property if it will result in a higher tax bill.