What is stamp duty?
Stamp duty land tax, or SDLT, is a tax you pay when you buy a property or land in England and Northern Ireland.
The amount you pay changes depending on the price of the property.
Use our stamp duty calculator to work out what you'll pay on your next home.
Stamp duty calculator
How much stamp duty will you need to pay? Let our calculator do the maths. Here's how stamp duty works.
When do you pay stamp duty?
You pay stamp duty when you:
buy a freehold property
buy a new or existing leasehold
buy a property through a shared ownership scheme
are transferred land or property in exchange for payment, for example, if you take on a mortgage for it or buy a share in a house
How much is stamp duty in the UK?
Stamp duty works out as a percentage of the property you’re buying. The more expensive the property, the higher the percentage you’ll pay.
Stamp duty rates for first-time buyers
First-time buyers don't pay any stamp duty on properties costing less than £425,000.
If the property costs between £425,000 and £625,000, you'll be 5% on the amount that's over £425,000.
But if you're buying a property that costs more than £625,000, you'll pay the normal stamp duty rates like everyone else.
|Property price||Percentage of stamp duty paid|
|£0 - £425,000||0%|
|£425,000 - £625,000||5%|
|£625,000+||Normal stamp duty rates apply|
Stamp duty rates for all other buyers
The tax is not charged on the first £250,000 of a property purchase price for people moving home.
For homes costing between £250,000 and £925,000, you need to 5% for the portion over £250,000.
For homes costing between £925,000 and £1.5m, you'll need to pay 10% on the portion over £925,000.
And for homes costing over £1.5m, you'll need to pay 12% on the portion over £1.5m.
|Property price||Stamp Duty percentage to pay|
|£0 – £250,000||0%|
|£250,000 - £925,000||5%|
|£925,000 - £1,500,000||10%|
When do you have to pay stamp duty?
Stamp duty must be paid within 14 days of the date you complete on your property purchase. That’s when its ownership legally transfers to you.
Usually this part of the process is handled by your solicitor or conveyancer. They’ll send the Land Transaction Return to HM Revenue & Customs on the day of completion and transfer the money on your behalf.
Can you avoid paying stamp duty?
Yes, if you’re a first-time buyer.
First time buyers don’t have to pay stamp duty on the first £425,000 on homes costing up to £625,000.
However, for first-time buyers who are purchasing a home that costs more than £625,000, they’ll pay the normal stamp duty rates like everybody else.
You can also avoid paying stamp duty if:
A property is transferred to you as part of a divorce settlement
A property is transferred to you through a will
A property is transferred to you as a gift*
*But there’s a caveat with this last one: the property must be mortgage-free for you to avoid paying stamp duty.
If you take over some or all of an existing mortgage, then the stamp duty may be payable on the value of the mortgage that's over the relevant stamp duty threshold.
What rate of stamp duty do you pay on second homes?
If you’re buying a second home or a buy-to-let property, you’ll have to pay a stamp duty surcharge of 3% on the entire value of the property, on top of any standard stamp duty that's due.
So, if you buy an investment property worth £500,000, you will need to pay £27,500 in stamp duty:
0 - £250,000 at 0% = £0 stamp duty
£250,000 - £925,000 at 5% = £12,500 stamp duty
Second home surcharge at 3% of the property's total value = £15,000 stamp duty
You’ll also incur the 3% surcharge if you purchase another property as your main home before you've completed on the sale of your existing one.
However, you can claim the money back if you then complete the sale within 36 months.
You don’t have to pay the surcharge if your second home is a caravan, mobile home or houseboat.
Do overseas buyers pay stamp duty?
Yes. Non-UK residents pay normal stamp duty, plus an extra 2% surcharge when buying property in England and Northern Ireland.
Does stamp duty apply to homes bought in Scotland and Wales?
Yes, but both Scotland and Wales have their own versions of stamp duty.
In Scotland, the tax is called the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax.
Land and Buildings Transaction Tax rates in Scotland
|Property price||Land and Buildings Transaction Tax rates|
|£0 - £145,000||0%|
|£145,000 to £250,000||2%|
|£250,000 to £325,000||5%|
|£325,000 to £750,000||10%|
In Wales, it’s called a Land Transaction Tax.
Land Transaction Tax rates in Wales
|Property price||Land Transaction Tax rates|
|£0 - £225,000||0%|
|£225,000 - £400,000||6%|
|£400,000 - £750,000||7.5%|
|£750,000 - £1,500,000||10%|
What happens if you can't pay stamp duty?
You’ll pay an automatic fixed penalty if you don’t file your return by the filing date, that's within 14 days of completing on your property purchase.
The amount of the penalty depends on how late you file your return.
You’ll pay a fixed penalty of:
£100 up to three months after the filing date
£200 after three months of the filing date
And for more than 12 months after the filing date, you'll pay a fixed penalty plus a tax-based penalty, which can be anything up to the full amount of the tax due. You also have to pay interest on the tax that’s due - as well as the outstanding tax itself. Ouch.
Can you appeal against a stamp duty late filing penalty?
Yes. If you could not file your return by the deadline because of an unusual event that was either unforeseeable or beyond your control, you can appeal.