Stamp duty changes as the countdown begins for house hunters

Time is running out for potential home buyers to complete their purchase before the stamp duty changes take effect.

The stamp duty changes are expected to come into effect at the end of this month.

It will end the government’s extension of the stamp duty holiday, which temporarily suspended property taxes during the coronavirus pandemic.

The program was originally scheduled to end in March, but the stamp duty holiday was extended for another three months.

Currently, the tax is suspended on the first £ 500,000 of all property sales in England, a measure which was introduced in July 2020.

The move was intended to help buyers who may have suffered a financial blow from Covid and to boost a real estate market shaken by foreclosure.

This suspension is now due to expire on June 30, with homebuyers being warned that the program is expected to end.

Once the stamp duties return, this will mean a number of changes for those who wish to move up the property ladder or buy a new home.

Thousands of people have signed an online petition to have the stamp duty apply at the time of the exchange of contracts, rather than at the point of completion.

More than 12,600 people have signed the petition on the government website .

But what is stamp duty and who does it affect?

Scroll through the list below for answers to key stamp duty questions.

When you have to pay stamp duty

Stamp duty, also known as property tax, must be paid if you buy property or land above a certain price in England and Northern Ireland.

In Scotland it is called Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, while in Wales it is called Land Transaction Tax.

You have to pay tax in England and Northern Ireland for:

  • buy a freehold property

  • buy a new or existing lease

  • buy a condominium

  • transfer land or property in exchange for payment, such as taking out a mortgage or buying a share in a house.

Stamp duty thresholds

The current stamp duty threshold for residential properties is £ 500,000, but this changes on July 1, 2021.

Currently, this means that you don’t have to pay stamp duty if your property is worth less than £ 500,000.

The threshold for non-residential land and property is £ 150,000.

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Changes June 30

The thresholds will change as the UK begins to emerge from the lockdown.

The threshold from July 1 to September 30, 2021 will be £ 250,000 – this means you won’t have to pay stamp duty on residential properties costing up to £ 250,000.

Properties valued at £ 250,000 or more will be subject to a tax.

For land and non-residential property, stamp duty will need to be paid on anything that costs £ 150,000 or more.

From October 1, you’ll pay stamp duty on properties costing over £ 125,000 for residential properties and £ 150,000 for land and non-residential properties.

The rules of the first buyer are different

First-time buyers will benefit from a reduction on stamp duty from July 1, 2021. This means that you will pay less or no tax if both of the following conditions apply:

  • you, and anyone else you buy with, are first-time buyers

  • the purchase price is £ 500,000 or less

You will also be entitled to this discount if you bought your first home before July 8, 2020.

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