Can I get stamp duty relief as a first time buyer?

Since 22 November 2017, first time buyers have been able to claim relief from Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) First Time Buyers’ Relief. How does this work?

First time buyers

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First-Time Buyer's Stamp Duty Relief

First time buyers no longer pay any Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) when buying a property up to, and including,  £300,000.

If the property purchase price is over £300,000 and does not exceed £500,000, fist time buyers will only pay stamp duty on the amount over £300,000 at a rate of 5% (correct at time of writing 1/2/19)

If the property is purchased for £500,000 or above, the standard rate of stamp duty will apply, whether you are a first-time buyer or not.

To qualify, first time buyers must intend to occupy the property as their only or main residence.

The relief can apply to any residential property purchased in England, Wales and Norther Ireland.

The effective date of the transaction (completion date) is on or after 22 November 2017.

It is possible to make a saving of up to £5,000.

See stamp duty calculator.

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Can I still get 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.

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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 stamp duty tax claim, you will need to complete a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) return on the Gov.Uk website

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

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

However, if you are unmarried and buying jointly, you can claim relief when only one of you is eligible.  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.

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

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

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