Can I get Stamp Duty relief as a first-time buyer?

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On 22 November 2017 the Chancellor introduced Stamp Duty Relief, to help first-time buyers get a foot on the property ladder. Here's what you need to know:

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)?

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax payable to HMRC on most residential property and land purchases. You will be need to pay SDLT if you buy a residential property in England or Northern Ireland for more that £125,000.

In Scotland, you pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, and in Wales Land Transaction Tax.

Stamp Duty for first-time buyers

As a first-time buyer, you will be able to claim SDLT Relief (pay no Stamp Duty), as long as the purchase price does not exceed £500,000, as follows:

Stamp Duty bracket First-time buyer rate
Up to £300,000 0%
£300,001 - £500,000 5%
over £500,001 If the purchase price exceeds £500,000, you won't be able to claim SDLT relief. SDLT will be charged as per the standard rate.

Example 1:

If you purchase a first property for £350,000, you would pay £2,500 Stamp Duty, calculated as follows:

  • 0% on the first £300,000 (£0)
  • 5% on the next £50,000 (£2,500)

Example 2:

If you purchase a first property for £600,000, you would pay £20,000 Stamp Duty, calculated as follows:

  • 0% on the first £125,000 (£0)
  • 2% on the next £125,000 (£2,500)
  • 5% on the next £350,000 (£17,500)

Eligibility

To qualify for SDLT Relief as a first-time buyer, you must intend to occupy the property as your sole and main residence.

Relief can apply to any residential property purchased in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

See also:

Stamp Duty Calculator - 2022 Update

Can I still claim Stamp Duty relief when buying under a shared ownership scheme?

Yes. Since 29 October 2018, it has also been possible to claim First-Time Buyer's Stamp Duty Relief when buying under an approved shared ownership scheme.

The change applies retrospectively to any property purchased on or before 22 November 2017.

What if I paid the Stamp Duty in instalments rather than the market value?

Before 18 October this was not possible. However, it is now possible to claim relief if you pay in instalments and you can even make a retrospective claim.

To make a retrospective claim, you will need to complete a SDLT return on the Gov.Uk website.

What if I am buying with someone else (joint ownership)?

If you are buying with your spouse, partner or friend, you will both need to qualify for First Time Buyer's Stamp Duty Relief.

However, if you are unmarried and buying jointly, you could claim relief when only one of you is eligible. However, to do this, only the eligible person can appear on the property mortgage deed.

This could affect the amount that you can borrow (as a sole mortgage applicant) and it could lead to issues if you subsequently separate.

Read more:

What you need to know before buying a home with a partner or friend

find out how much Stamp Duty you will need to pay with our Stamp Duty Calculator

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Author:
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher