Stamp Duty Land Tax reforms from midnight tonight

Stamp Duty Land Tax is to be changed at midnight after today’s Autumn Statement by Chancellor George Osborne.

Osborne announced that he would be completely reforming what he described as a “badly designed tax on aspiration”.

He has jettisoned the old “slab” structure, by which home buyers paid SDLT on the entire purchase price of the property. Instead, he has replaced it with a “progressive” structure which, he insisted, would benefit 98% of home purchasers.

The reforms will not, he told the Commons, affect those currently in the middle of house moving, who will be able to choose whether to pay SDLT under the old or new system. Eye will get more clarity on this point, but we believe the Chancellor meant buyers who have exchanged but not completed.

We now have this vital clarification. https://www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax-rates

“Where contracts have been exchanged on or before 3 December 2014, and the transaction is completed on 4 December or later, you can choose whether you follow the new or the old rules.”

Under the new reforms:

  • No SDLT payable at all on properties up to £125,000
  • The first £125,000 on properties to be free of SDLT
  • Then payable at 2% payable on the portion up to £250,000
  • Payable at 5% on the portion up to £925,000
  • Payable at 10% on the portion up to £1.5m
  • Then payable at 12% on the portion over that amount.

The Chancellor expects the SDLT reforms to cost the Treasury a total of £4.4bn in the next six years.

Savills’ calculations show the “pinch” point at being around the £1m mark, at which the new rate becomes a heavier burden on home buyers.

However, where purchasers bought at exactly the previous “slab” thresholds of £250,000 and £500,000, there will be no difference in the amounts payable.

The reform to SDLT was given a half-hearted welcome by Ed Balls, shadow chancellor, whose own party wants to introduce an annual Mansion Tax.

Balls said: “[The] measures aren’t enough – why not have an annual charge on the highest properties and fund a £2.5bn injection into the health services.”

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22 Comments

  1. ukpropmaster

    See now THIS is a story? Where is everyone? Or too busy still worrying about silly ol' Agent's Mutual?

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    1. Paul H

      Any comments to add on the Stamp duty Land Tax reforms ukpropmaster?

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  2. Paul H

    And about ****** time too! For how long as the industry been crying out for SDLT to be reformed in to a 'progressive' structure. Great news for the many.

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  3. seenitall

    Good its been adjusted and will help a lot of normal people. Shame there is a tax at all.

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  4. EBT

    What about properties that already have exchanged? Does anyone know if the new stamp duty will apply to those?

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    1. Property Pundit

      If already exchanged you can choose the old or new system of taxation. If you exchange after midnight tonight, you must use the new system. Busy night ahead for solicitors representing rich buyers!!

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  5. smile please

    Time to revisit a number of valuations I think – Fantastic news!

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  6. Steve From Leicester

    I make it everyone either the same or better off till about £970,000.

    At £400,000 I make the old regime £12,000, the new £10,000 (based on nothing for first £125k, £2,500 for the next £125k, £7,500 for the next £150k.

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    1. Steve From Leicester

      Slight adjustment: Everyone same or better off till about £938,000 if my figures are correct.

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      1. Lance Trendall

        The government document says people will pay the same or less up to £937,500, so you're pretty bang on. Paragraph 13 states: "Under the changes, purchasers of residential property for £937,500 or less will pay the same or, in most cases, less tax than they would have paid under the old rules. Purchasers of residential property between £1m and £1.125m will also pay less tax. Purchasers of residential property for between £937,500 and £1m and above £1.125m will in most cases pay more." Work that one out!

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  7. claris

    Not sure this is good news especially in London where most buyers will have to pay more now. The market has been uncertain around the £2m mark and now it becomes even more costly.
    Hasn't G O ever thought of dropping SDLT to an affordable amount to create more property transactions, that, in turn will fill the Government coffers to a larger degree?

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    1. Steve From Leicester

      Sorry Claris but you live in a different world to most of us. Maybe most of your buyers pay more than £937k for a house (the point where it will cost them more in SDLT), but in my quaint little corner of the world (a whole 60 minutes by rail from St Pancras, closer than many south east "commuter towns") very few people pay anything remotely like £900 grand for a house.

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  8. Mark Reynolds

    For me this is a great news, most investment properties in and around my area (Milton Keynes, Leighton Buzzard, Aylesbury) are pitched around 150 – 160K for 2 beds. I am about (hopefully) to tie up a deal on a flat in MK where the offer is £135k so instead of paying 1% (£1350.00) they will be paying £200.00. Happy days 🙂

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  9. craigreynolds

    Useful link to give to your staff/clients and calculate the new rates against the current:

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/tools/sdlt/land-and-property.htm

    Overall good news, shame for the higher bracket getting hit hard. Shame it has to be so unbalanced but the majority will benefit so we weclome this move.

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  10. Anna Midcalf

    so much more sensible to have a step rather than slab tax, we should be able to achieve fairer prices for houses now instead of seeing sales prices getting knocked back to the SDLT levels of change, never saw it coming though.

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  11. Michael

    Shock but good news re say £275,000 homes

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  12. Lance Trendall

    On a house sale at £3.9M the stamp duty was £273,000, now it will be £381,750, another £108,750. Will that change market values and if so, to what extent? Or will the wealthier buyers simply pay up? What do other agents in this sector think will happen to the upper end of the market?

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  13. Lance Trendall

    There is a great stamp duty calcutaor on the HMRC website, it gives a before and after comparison of stamp duty, which is very helpful now it takes longer for us to work the tax out. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/tools/sdlt/land-and-property.htm
    Enjoy!

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  14. Mark Treagust

    I've just made a new friend. Just called a buyer who is due to complete on his purchase tomorrow at £260,000. Quick call to his solicitor and he will now be £4,800 better off! Good timing.

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  15. David Cantell

    We may see price growth in the lower value end of the market buoyed by the announcement. In terms of percentage growth, we had already been seeing those areas coming off of much lower price bases perform better than Central London over the last 12 months. Rental investor sentiment might change, rather than buy one 2m property for their portfolio they might consider buying a few lower value ones. Whether it’s considered a tax on Central London or spreading the wealth, the level at which people pay more SDLT I think is still too low for Greater London and Home Counties areas.

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  16. Phil Martin

    I think this is excellent and so much fairer to both sellers and buyer's.

    No more properties genuinely worth £265,000 being forcibly reduced down to £250,000, or genuinely £525,000 being reduced down to £500,0000 to achieve a sale within stamp duty boundaries.

    Clarity on the new rates is here http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/sdlt/rates-tables.htm#4

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  17. GPL

    Odd to think a Government Policy that saves the majority of homebuyers money! Have phoned 14 clients to give them they happy news that their purchase will be cheaper!…..and I did say it wasn't me saving them the money!…..just passing on the good news early! Big thumbs up from homebuyers!

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