Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)
SDLT applies when you purchase property in England and Northern Ireland. In Scotland the equivalent is known as Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and in Wales the equivalent is known as Land Transaction Tax. Although the rates and thresholds are different across the three different Stamp Duty regimes, they work in broadly similar ways and tend to operate to the same principles.
In terms of England and Northern Ireland, SDLT has to be paid on the full purchase price of the property within 14 days of purchase. The standard rates are 0%, 2%, 5%, 10% and 12% and SDLT is calculated on a graduated basis. If you, your spouse or children under the age of 18 already own any residential property anywhere else in the world and you are not replacing your main home, higher rates of 3%, 5%, 8%, 13% and 15% normally apply. Further complications can arise if you are purchasing a property through a company which is not going to be part of a property business for at least the first 3 years of ownership.
The Government has announced that it will introduce a Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge of 2% to residential property buyers who are not resident in the UK. This will apply for completions from 1st April 2021, except where the contracts were exchanged before 11th March 2020.