Stamp duty tax: what’s changing?

A number of buyers have been racing to complete on a home sale before 30th June, the final day of the stamp duty holiday on homes at or below £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland.

Although these maximum savings are ending, the good news is you could still make some stamp duty savings if you complete on a property before the end of September.

When do stamp duty rates change?

It’s been almost a year since the temporary reduction of stamp duty tax rates. The change meant there was no stamp duty tax to pay for first-time buyers and home movers on purchases priced at or below £500,000 before 30th June. The reduction offered buyers a potential saving of up to £15,000.

The stamp duty holiday was already extended once, from 31st March to 30th June.

From 1st July, there will be a staggered return to previous stamp duty rates, with the nil-rate band lowered from £500,000 to £250,000 until the end of September. From 1st October, it will return to £125,000.

The amount of stamp duty tax you’ll need to pay depends on a wide range of factors, including how much you pay for the property, the location of the property, whether you have a UK passport, when you buy and whether you’re a first-time buyer. It also depends on whether you’re buying a main home, a holiday home or an investment property.

Use our stamp duty calculator to work out how much you will pay based on the changes.

Stamp duty changes: key dates

8th July 2020: Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a temporary cut to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in England and Northern Ireland, raising the nil-rate threshold from £125,000, to £500,000, until 31 March 2021.

3rd March 2021: In his Spring Budget speech, the Chancellor said that due to the high volume of home sales underway, many new purchases wouldn’t have time to complete by the end of March. So the stamp duty holiday was extended by three months, until 30th June. Also, the nil rate band – the portion of the property purchase that does not incur stamp duty tax – would be lowered to £250,000 from July, and only return to the usual level of £125,000 from October 1st, 2021.

30th June 2021: You had to complete on a property purchase by 30th June to benefit from the maximum stamp duty holiday savings.

1st July 2021: From 1st July until 30th September, there is a staggered return to previous stamp duty rates. During this time, many buyers of a main home in England or Northern Ireland won’t pay any stamp duty on the first £250,000 of the purchase price.

30th September 2021: You must complete a property purchase by 30th September to benefit from the staggered extension of the stamp duty holiday rates.

1st October 2021: Stamp duty rates are due to return to the levels which were in place prior to 8th July, 2020. You can check the rates here.

Will there be any changes to Land Transaction Tax (LTT) in Wales?

In Wales, a temporary reduction to Land Transaction Tax was set to end on 31st March, but this was also extended by a further three months until 30th June 2021.

You can work out how much you will pay by using the Welsh Government’s LTT calculator.

What about Land & Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) in Scotland?

In Scotland, there was a Land & Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) holiday, which also offered reduced tax rates for buyers, but the holiday was not extended beyond 31st March this year.

You can view the normal rates on LBTT here.

READ MORE: Why is the housing market so busy right now?

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