Are you a house hunter who’s looking to take their first step on the property ladder but put off by the concept of Stamp Duty? If you’re new to the housing market, Stamp Duty may seem like an unknown entity and cause you to second guess your capability of buying a house. However, we are here to put your mind at ease and fill in the gaps on everything you need to know about Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).
Whether you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you have a responsibility to pay a lump sum of Stamp Duty on a residential property or a piece of land. The amount of Stamp Duty you owe is based on the price of your house and there are several rate bands to indicate this. If your property is under £125,000 you are exempt from paying the tax but as house prices increase, so does Stamp Duty – the below table indicates the SDLT rates:
*Source: The Money Advice Service
When you buy a new house, the ownership of the land has to be officially signed over to you which requires a Certificate of Land Ownership from the HMRC – only issued upon payment of SDLT. The certificate and Stamp Duty go hand in hand, without a land tax payment, ownership will not be signed over.
How do you go about paying your Stamp Duty? A solicitor usually takes care of this for you or you can do it yourself – but it’s important to note, even if you’re below the threshold of paying the tax, you’re still expected to submit a return. In terms of preparing your payment, you do have the option of subtracting the value of certain items (chattels) from the total price of the property, e.g carpets, light fittings and other similar items. This method could be particularly useful if you were just over the threshold of a band. If an asking price was set at £251,000, you would be in the 5% band but through negotiation of chattels outside of the transaction you could put yourself into the 2% band – saving yourself a lot of money.
Here at Wright Marshall we have an array of properties that are ideal for first time buyers, putting you in the 0% band for land tax. In Wistaston we have a luxurious 2 bedroom ground floor apartment, a 3 bedroom semi-detached house in Winsford – ideal for a young family – and a brand new 2 bedroom house in Tattenhall. All three of these properties are exempt from the tax meaning your dream of buying your first house is well within reach.
If you’re a first time buyer and would like to buy your first house Stamp Duty free, get in touch with our team to discuss your property ownership goals.