New lower SDLT residential threshold
Back in July 2020, the residential stamp duty land tax threshold in England and Northern Ireland was increased to £500,000 to help stimulate the property market after the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The increased threshold was originally due to apply from 8 July 2020 until 31 March 2021, but as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to run, the Chancellor announced at the time of the 2021 Spring Budget, that the temporary threshold would remain at £500,000 until 30 June 2021. From 1 July 2021, the threshold falls to £250,000, remaining at this level until 30 September 2021, before reverting to the usual level of £125,000 from 1 October 2021. For first time buyers, the threshold reverted to £300,000 from 1 July 2021 for properties costing £500,000 or less.
Similar initiatives were introduced in Scotland in relation to land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) and in Wales in relation to land transaction tax (LTT). In Scotland, the LBTT threshold was increased to £250,000 from 15 July 2020 until 31 March 2021. However, there was no extension beyond 31 March 2021, and the threshold reverted to £145,000 from 1 April 2021. In Wales, the LTT was increased to £250,000 from 27 July 2020, originally until 31 March 2021. However, this was extended until 30 June 2021. The threshold reverted to £180,000 from 1 July 2021.
Missed the 30 June deadline
If you are looking to buy property in England or Northern Ireland and missed the 30 June 2021 deadline, there is still the opportunity to benefit from a reduced temporary threshold, as long as the purchase completes by 30 September 2021.
Completing by this deadline could save up to £2,500.
For SDLT purposes in England and Wales and for LTT purposes in Scotland, investors and second-home owners were able to benefit from the increased threshold, with the second property supplement (3% for SDLT purposes and 4% for LTT purposes) being applied to the rates as reduced. However, those buying second homes in Wales were not able to benefit.
Julia is looking for a property to let out as a holiday let. She finds a property in June 2021 and her offer of £400,000 was accepted.
If she is able to complete by 30 September 2021, she will pay SDLT of £19,500 ((£250,000 @ 3%) + (£150,000 @ 8%).
However, if she misses this deadline, completing on or after 1 October 2021, she will pay SDLT of £22,000 ((£125,000 @ 3%) + (£125,000 @ 5%) + (£150,000 @ 8%)).
Completing by 30 September 2021 will save her £2,500 in SDLT.
Partner note: Stamp Duty Land Tax (Temporary Relief) Act 2020 (as amended by FA 2021, s. 87).