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Stamp duty

Everything you need to know about Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)
Made in Chelsea, in 1856 With over 160 years’ experience matching people and property throughout London, we’re not only one of London’s longest established agents, but also one of the most prevalent.
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As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes”.

One such tax, and a bane to many, is Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) which (unless you’re a first-time buyer purchasing a home for less than £300,000) is paid on freehold, leasehold, residential and commercial properties, regardless of whether you’re buying in cash or with a mortgage.

There are three categories of stamp duty, according to a person’s buying position:

  • First-time buyers
  • Buyers replacing their primary residence
  • Those purchasing properties in addition to their primary residence

The following guide explains how stamp duty is calculated for these three categories.

Benefitting from this reduced rate can be tricky in some parts of London, so here’s our selection of properties for sale London under £500,000.

Who pays stamp duty in England and who is exempt?

Stamp duty is applicable on any primary residence purchased above £125,000 and over £40,000 for additional homes. Following changes to stamp duty regulations at the end of 2017, the government established reliefs for first-time buyers purchasing property under £500,000.

How is stamp duty calculated?

The amount of stamp duty ranges from 0% to 15% of the property purchase price. As with income tax, the rate is calculated proportionately in a ‘tiered’ structure, so you’ll pay the rate for the proportion of the property that falls within that band. More on that in a moment!

Stamp duty for first-time buyers:

From November 2017, stamp duty has been abolished for first-time buyers purchasing properties up to £300,000, and is charged at a rate of 5% for the amount between £300,000 and £500,000. So if you buy a property that costs £350,000, you will pay 0% on £300,000, and 5% on £50,000.

Tax bands for first-time buyers are as follows:

Benefiting from this reduced rate can be tricky in some parts of London, so here’s our selection of properties for sale in London under £500,000.

Do I get the first-time buyer stamp duty relief if I have previously owned a share or interest in a property?

Unfortunately, under the legislation, a person who has owned any share or interest in a property, anywhere in the world, is excluded from the relief. This includes shared ownership schemes, shares in parents’ houses and if you have bought with someone else previously. Those who’ve inherited a property or were given one as a gift are also ineligible, as this counts as property ownership.

Buyers replacing their primary residence:

The stamp duty bands for those replacing a primary residence are as follows:

Second-home buyers and buy-to-let landlords:

The rates for second-home buyers and buy-to-let landlords changed in April 2016 to include a further 3% stamp duty on the full purchase of properties over £40,000. Additional properties bought for under £40,000 are exempt from stamp duty – think garages!

Second home and buy-to-let stamp duty rates are as follows:

How do I calculate how much stamp duty I owe?

Calculating stamp duty is a little complex, so here’s an example to better illustrate how it works:

For a property purchased at £700,000, no stamp duty would be paid on the first £125,000, 2% on £125,001 to £250,000 and 5% on £250,001 to £700,000, totalling £25,000.

To keep it simple, you can also use one of the many online calculators to determine the stamp duty you will pay. We always rely on the HMRC calculator.

Alternatively, for more information about stamp duty or the buying process, our expert sales teams would be happy to chat to you. Find your local Marsh & Parsons office here.

Why buy with us?

  • Over 160 years’ experience matching buyers to their ideal London properties
  • One point of contact, hundreds of properties for sale across London
  • People with wonderful properties – a team with experience, energy and excellence
  • Viewings and appointments at times that suit your schedule
  • Award-winning customer service every step of the way

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