Stamp duty is what strikes fear into the minds of every home buyer, but do you know how it’s calculated and ultimately how much you’ll pay?
One of former Chancellor George Osborne’s most popular moves was the abolition of the ‘slab’ system of stamp duty land tax. Prior to the change in 2014 buyers paid stamp duty based on the price of the property, but it was applied to the whole value of the home.
This meant that if your property was just £1 above one of the thresholds you’d have to pay far greater levels of stamp duty compared with a house that was £1 cheaper and just below the threshold, but now home buyers pay a advanced rate so that the higher rates only apply to the amount over each threshold.
In England and Northern Ireland stamp duty is more commonly known as Stamp Duty Land Tax, In Wales it is referred to as Land Transaction Tax and in Scotland it is known as Land and Buildings Transaction Tax. Depending on the country in which you are purchasing a property, different rules and tax calculations will be applied.
England and Northern Ireland – Based on a traditional residential mortgage for the average English property value of £243,639, according to the latest UK House Price Index, your total for stamp duty would be £2,372.
Scotland – Based on a traditional residential mortgage for the average Scottish property value of £148,952, according to the latest UK House Price Index, your total for stamp duty would be £79.
Wales – Based on a traditional residential mortgage for the average Welsh property value of £156,495, according to the latest UK House Price Index, your total for stamp duty would be £0.
However, if you’re a first-time buyer in England and Northern Ireland purchasing a home for £300,000 or less you’ll be exempt from stamp duty altogether. You’ll be charged 5% on anything over £300,000 up to £500,000 – anything over £500,000 and you won’t be entitled to discounted rates. These discounted rates also don’t apply for first-time buyers in Wales whereas first-time buyers in Scotland are exempt up to £175,000.
Also, different stamp duty thresholds and different tax rules and calculations will apply to second properties, buy-to-let properties and other factors like whether it’s shared ownership.