How and when do I pay stamp duty?
As of March 2019, you must pay your stamp duty within 14 days of your move-in date. If it’s not paid by then, you could risk a fine, or having interest added to the amount due.(2)
Traditionally your solicitor deals with your stamp duty payment, but it doesn’t hurt to be aware of what stamp duty is, how it’s calculated, and when it’s due.
Stamp duty is paid as a lump-sum on new properties and second homes, freehold and leasehold properties, and homes bought outright or with a mortgage.
How much is stamp duty in 2019?
If you’re wondering how to calculate stamp duty in the UK, the following figures will help.
Buying in England and Northern Ireland (NI)
The standard rate bands for stamp duty are as follows*:
- 0% stamp duty = on first £0 - £125,000 of property
- 2% stamp duty = on next £125,001 - £250,000 of property
- 5% stamp duty = on next £250,001 - £925,000 of property
- 10% stamp duty = on next £925,001 - £1.5 million of property
- 12% stamp duty = above £1.5 million of property
Figures accurate as of Aug 2019 as shown at gov.uk
The rate of stamp duty you’ll pay isn’t confined to just one of these bands. Each band applies to the equivalent portion of the property price. For example, if you bought a house for £300,000, the stamp duty you’d pay would be:
- The first £125,000 x 0% = £0
- The next £125,000 x 2% = £2,500
- The final £50,000 x 5% = £2,500
Total stamp duty = £5,000
As you can see, it’s a little complicated, especially on more expensive properties, which is why a stamp duty calculator can be useful.
First-time buyers in England and NI
If you’re a first-time buyer, you’ll be able to benefit from some stamp duty relief on properties up to the value of £500,000.
So when you’re buying a home up to the value of £300,000, you won’t have to pay any stamp duty at all.
When you buy a property of between £300,000 and £500,000, you won’t have to pay anything on the first £300,000, but you will have to pay a rate of 5% for the remaining portion.
For example, on a property for the value of £450,000, your stamp duty would be:
- The first £300,000 x 0% = 0%
- The remaining £150,000 x 5% = £7,500
Total stamp duty = £7,500
To be eligible to receive this discount, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:
- All parties involved in purchasing the property must be first-time buyers
- Your property can’t exceed a value of £500,000
If you’re a first-time buyer and the property you are buying is over £500,000, you’ll be required to follow the standard rate bands.
Stamp duty Scotland
In Scotland, for a single property purchase, no tax is paid on the first £145,000. Then the following rates apply:
- 2% on the value of the property between £145,000 and £250,000
- 5% on the part between £250,000 and £325,000
- 10% on the part from £325,000 to £750,000
- 12% on any value over £750,000
The initial threshold for first-time buyers in Scotland is £175k.
Stamp duty Wales
LTT is usually exempt on the first £180,000 of the property, with the following rates applying on the rest:
- 3.5% between £180,000 and £250,000
- 5% on the part between £250,000 and £400,000
- 7.5% on the part between £400,000 and £750,000
- 10% within the next band up to £1.5 million
- 12% over £1.5 million
There’s currently no relief for first-time buyers in Wales, but the higher tax free threshold of £180,000 should make most first-time purchases tax-free.(3)
Buy-to-let stamp duty & stamp duty on a second property
Calculating stamp duty on second homes is different. If you’re buying a second home – perhaps as a holiday home – or a buy-to-let property, you’ll have to pay an additional 3% on the standard stamp duty rates.
This rate applies to properties over £40,000, but excludes mobile homes, houseboats, and caravans.
If you’re buying a new home and selling your old one, you’ll only need to pay the standard stamp duty rates. But if your main residence hasn’t been sold by the time you complete your new purchase, you’ll have to pay the higher rates, because you technically now own two properties.
Thankfully, you can get a refund once you’ve sold your original home – as long as it’s within 36 months of the original purchase.
Buying a leasehold property
Stamp duty applies on both leasehold and freehold properties. It is dealt with exactly the same way on either property.
Buying a commercial property
Calculating stamp duty on land and non-residential property (including mixed-use land and property) is also different. You’ll pay land tax on transactions over £150,000. This is currently 2% of the property value from £150,000 to £250,000 and 5% on the value above £250,000.
Joint ownership and stamp duty relief
If you’re a first-time buyer of a shared ownership home, you don’t have to pay stamp duty on the first £300,000 of value in a home that costs up to £500,000. This means all first-time buyers who invest up to £300,000 in their first home (shared ownership or otherwise) are now exempt from stamp duty.(4)
When is stamp duty not applicable?
There are a couple of scenarios where stamp duty land tax doesn’t apply:
- If you’re buying a property valued below the stamp duty threshold
- If you’re transferring the deeds of your home to someone