Stamp Duty Facts

UK Stamp Duty on Property

UK Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a charge on property transactions and came into effect on 1 December 2003. Stamp Duty land tax replaced the old stamp duty system which dated back over 300 years.

Stamp duty taxation is limited to the acquisition of property and land situated in the UK, the boundary being the low water mark of every part of the UK which borders the sea.

UK Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is payable on all property purchases over a certain purchase price, and the charge applies to all purchases of houses, flats and other land and buildings.

Stamp Duty in Scotland has been replaced by Land and Buildings Transactions Tax (LBTT). The new Scottish LBTT system is similar to SDLT but has different thresholds.

The rate of tax is a percentage of the monitory transaction, the amount being rounded down to the nearest pound. Stamp duty rates have been reviewed in recent times, please see stamp duty changes and stamp duty rates for updated information.

For an instant calculation of stamp duty liability please use look at the stamp duty calculator.


Stamp Duty Rates

Stamp duty rates on UK property transactions are linked to the property selling price.

Rates of stamp duty increase in line with property value and there are a number of stamp duty thresholds giving clear demarcation between the different rates. Stamp duty rates are different for residential and commercial property.


Changes to Stamp Duty Rates

New stamp duty rates were introduced from December 2014. Under the new rules buyers pay tax on amounts between bands, not on the full purchase price of a property.

The table below shows stamp duty rates for residential property purchased in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since April 2015 stamp duty rates in Scotland are different to the rest of the UK.

Stamp duty rates have now increased for anyone purchasing an additional property. Additional property can include buy to let investments and second homes. Please refer to the buy to let stamp duty and stamp duty for second homes for instant calculations, exemptions and examples of when the new rate will apply.


What are the current Stamp Duty Rates?

The current stamp duty rates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are shown in the table below:

Band Normal Rate Additional Property
*An additional property purchased for less than £40k will attract 0% tax. For purchases from £40k to £125k the rate will be 3% on full purchase price.
less than £125k 0% 3%*
£125k to £250k 2% 5%
£250k to £925k 5% 8%
£925k to £1.5m 10% 13%
rest over £1.5m 12% 15%

For a single property purchase, no SDLT will be paid on the first £125,000. Between £125,000 and £250,000 buyers will pay 2% within this band, 5% on the portion between £250,000 and £925,000, 10% within the next band up to £1.5 million and 12% over that. For additional property, such as buy to let or second homes, there is now a 3% surcharge applied to all bands.


UK Stamp Duty history

UK Stamp duty was first introduced in 1694 as was levied to pay for the war with France.

Despite being a temporary solution to raise money, it was so successful that it remained in place well after the war years and eventually evolved into a permanent form of UK taxation.

The original form of UK stamp duty involved physically stamping an official document to indicate the appropriate tax had been paid on a transaction. Nowadays the physical stamp is no longer required as UK stamp duty taxation records are updated electronically.

For land transactions, provided the land acquired is located in the UK, then UK stamp duty tax is chargeable. This means that even if a property is purchased from overseas by someone who is not resident in the UK, the tax will still need to be paid.


UK Stamp Duty on shares

UK Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT) is payable on electronic share transactions when shares are transferred. UK stamp duty is not payable however when shares are first issued.

If shares are transferred electronically, stamp duty is automatically deducted at the time the transaction goes through.


Instantly calculate Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) with our new Stamp Duty Calculator. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Choose between "Single Property" or "Additional Property".
  2. Enter purchase price.
  3. Click "Calculate" button for instant stamp duty calculations.

Stamp duty calculations below reflect recent stamp duty changes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Stamp duty rates have increased for anyone purchasing an additional property. From April 2016 a 3% surcharge has been applied on top of the normal SDLT rate. This means buy to let purchases now attract higher levels of SDLT unless individual ownership is limited to a single property.

Please refer to our buy to let stamp duty and SDLT for second homes pages for new stamp duty rates, exemptions and examples.

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) has replaced Stamp Duty in Scotland. LBTT rates also a attract a 3% surcharge for second homes from April 2016. Please use our separate LBTT calculator for figures relating to purchases in Scotland.

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