Major changes to stamp duty land tax now in effect

As outlined in the Chancellor George Osborne's 2014 Autumn Statement, major changes to the way stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is charged on residential property purchases in England and Wales are now in effect.

From Thursday 4 December 2014, SDLT is charged at different rates depending on the portion of the purchase price that falls within a certain rate band.

Rates are applied only to the portion of the property's value that exceeds the relevant band threshold. This replaces the previous 'slab rate' system under which SDLT was charged against the total property value.

Purchase price of property Rate of SDLT (percentage of portion of purchase price)
£0 - £125,000 0%
£125,001 - £250,000 2%
£250,001 - £925,000 5%
£925,001 - £1.5 million 10%
Over £1.5 million 12%

If you exchanged contracts on or before 3 December 2014 but the transaction is completed on or after 4 December, you can choose whether you follow the new or the old rules.

The land and buildings transaction tax replaces stamp duty in Scotland on 1 April 2015. The new SDLT rules will also apply in Scotland until then.

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants called the change a "welcome move to end the significant distortions of this burdensome tax" and said the measure was "clearly designed as a vote winner."

Please do not hesitate in calling or emailing us if you wish to discuss how this change to tax law affects you.

0845 365 1000

help@hsj.uk.com

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