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How much is stamp duty and when do I pay?

Stamp duty tax on home buyers is a major cost to budget for when buying a new property. Whether you're buying your first home, you're a home mover or buying a second property, we take you through everything you need to know about how much stamp duty costs and when you need to pay.

How much is stamp duty and when do I pay

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty, or Stamp Duty Land Tax if you want to use the official jargon, is a levy that you pay to HM Revenue & Customs when you are buying a home.

It is paid by the person buying a property and how much stamp duty you’ll pay depends on where the property is, how much you are paying for it and whether or not it is your only property.  Any property worth less than £40,000 is exempt from stamp duty.

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Who pays stamp duty?

It is always the home buyer who pays stamp duty, not the seller. Usually, your solicitor will pay it on your behalf as part of the purchase process.

In England and Northern Ireland, from 1st October 2021, no stamp duty will be paid on the first £125,000 of the property’s value.  First time buyers pay no stamp duty on the first £300,000 of the property’s value.

If you are buying an additional property, then you pay 3% at the lowest band (and higher rates above this value), see the tables below for full details. If you are a non UK resident, you will also pay a 2% surcharge from 1st April, 2021.

How much is stamp duty?

The rate you pay depends on what price threshold your property falls into and where the property is – there are different rates in Scotland and Wales compared to England and Northern Ireland. It also depends on whether you have to pay a surcharge because you are purchasing a buy-to-let or second home.

How much is stamp duty in England & Northern Ireland?

Stamp duty rates in England and Northern Ireland from October 1st, 2021

Purchase price of property Stamp duty rate Stamp duty rate for additional properties
Up to £125,000 0% 3%
£125,001 to £250,000 2% 5%
£250,001 to £925,000 5% 8%
£925,001 to £1.5 million 10% 13%
Over £1.5 million 12% 15%

How much is stamp duty in Scotland?

From 1st April, 2021 LBTT rates in Scotland:

Purchase price of property Stamp duty rate Stamp duty rate for additional properties
Up to £145,000 0% 4%
£145,001 to £250,000 2% 6%
£250,001 to £325,000 5% 9%
£325,000 to £750,000 10% 14%
Over £750,000 12% 16%

First-time buyer relief in Scotland is £175,000. Stamp duty in Scotland is known as ‘land and buildings transaction tax’ (LBTT).

How much is stamp duty in Wales?

Stamp duty rates (LTT tax) in Wales:

Purchase price of property Stamp duty rate Stamp duty rate for additional properties
Up to £180,000 0% 4%
£180,001 up to £250,000 3.5% 7.5%
£250,001 to £400,000 5% 9%
£400,001 to £750,000 7.5% 11.5%
£750,001 to £1.5m 10% 14%
Over £1.5m 12% 16%

In Wales stamp duty is called Land Transaction Tax. There is no first-time buyer relief in Wales.

Do I qualify for first-time buyer stamp duty relief?

How much stamp duty will you pay as a first-time buyer? First-time buyers in England and Northern Ireland do not pay stamp duty up to £300,000 and pay 5% on the portion from £300,001 to £500,000. There is no relief on properties over £500,000. You are eligible if you and anyone else you are buying with are first-time buyers. See stamp duty for first time buyers for more information.

In Scotland, the starting threshold for first-time buyers is £175,000.  There is no first-time buyer relief in Wales.

Stamp duty surcharge on additional properties

Since April 2016 there has been a stamp duty surcharge for anyone buying additional properties. If, at the end of the purchase process, you will own two or more properties then you have to pay a surcharge on top of your ordinary stamp duty bill.

You can find out more with our guide to the stamp duty surcharge.

How do I calculate my stamp duty bill?

Stamp duty is calculated in the same way income tax works.

For example, if the agreed price of a home being purchased by an existing homeowner is £550,000, you pay:

0% on the first £125,000 = £0
2% on the next £125,000 = £2,500
5% on the next £300,000 = £15,000
Total stamp duty payable = £17,500

Stamp Duty Calculator for England & NI, Scotland and Wales

1. Where is the property you are buying? more info

Please select a location for your property

2. Enter your property price

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Please enter a value for your property over £10,000

3. Are you a first time buyer? more info

Please let us know if you are a first time buyer

4. Are you a UK resident? more info

5. Will the purchase of the property result in owning two or more properties? more info

5. Is it an investment property? more info

6. Is the property being purchased replacing your main residence? more info

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What stamp duty rates apply to leasehold homes?

In most cases, you will pay stamp duty on the purchase price of a leasehold home at the standard rates.  But, if you are buying a brand-new property which has a new lease, or an older property that has just been divided up and therefore new leases have been issued (known as ‘unassigned leases’), you may need to pay an additional charge.

This 1% extra charge will only apply if the total value of the rent you have to pay over the lifetime of the lease exceeds £125,000. HMRC has a calculator on its website which you can use if you think this charge might apply to your purchase.

Working out the costs of buying? See calculators to work out how much you can afford to borrow, how much a mortgage will cost you and more

Does stamp duty apply to fixtures and fittings?

Stamp duty does NOT apply to removable fixtures or “chattels” like freestanding furniture, carpets or curtains. But, it does apply to fixtures and fittings like bathroom and kitchen fittings, and built in wardrobes, which are attached to the building.

You can reduce your bill by subtracting the value of removable fittings from the total price of the property. For example, if carpets are included in the sale of a flat, the buyer and seller must agree a realistic price which reflects their age and quality, and then subtract it from the total price to calculate the stamp duty.

Buyers have been known to try to reduce their stamp duty bills by massively exaggerating the value of fixtures, but HMRC has cracked down on this. You should expect to be able to justify the value of the fixtures to the taxman.

Are there any other exceptions?

There are a number of other stamp duty exceptions including:

  • Properties worth less than £40,000 are exempt from stamp duty
  • Homes that are registered to companies rather than individuals and cost more than £500,000. These have a stamp duty rate of 15%.
  • Charities may be able to get relief from stamp duty when they buy land and property for charitable purposes.
  • Right-to-Buy transactions may qualify for discounts
  • Registered social landlords may be able to get relief if they are buying land or property.
  • Zero-carbon homes (including flats) under £500,000 are exempt. Ones worth over £500,000 have their bill reduced by £15,000.
  • A full list of stamp duty exemptions and reliefs are listed on the HMRC website.

Can I add stamp duty to my mortgage?

If you can’t afford your stamp duty bill, then you do have the option to borrow more on your mortgage to cover the tax bill. You simply need to calculate how much stamp duty you will owe and increase your mortgage borrowing to cover it.

Just be aware that you’ll pay interest on that extra borrowing, which over the average 25-year term of a mortgage can add up.

Also, adding your stamp duty to your mortgage could mean you end up with a higher interest rate if it pushes your loan-to-value up significantly.

When do I pay stamp duty?

You have 14 days after you complete on the purchase of a property to file a return to HMRC and pay any stamp duty that is due.

Your solicitor or conveyancer will usually calculate and pay your stamp duty bill on your behalf. They will normally submit your return and pay the stamp duty on completion day, having collected the money from you in advance.

Use our calculators to give you an indication of how much you can afford to borrow, how much a mortgage will cost you monthly and more

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