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How to Save Stamp Taxes on Your Property


Stamp duties are a tax that the government charges on certain legal instruments and documents that involve the transfer of property or other assets. In the UK, the government implemented a stamp duty holiday during the pandemic to make it affordable for homebuyers to purchase a home and to boost the property market. However, since October 2021, the tax has been back in place.

Stamp Taxes on Your Property

However, that doesn’t mean there is no way for you to lower the tax or avoid paying the bill altogether. Here are some ways you can save stamp taxes associated with your property.

As a First-Time Buyer

You may qualify for a stamp tax relief if you are a first-time home buyer. Since 2017, first-time homebuyers in England and Ireland do not need to pay stamp duty on residential properties that are worth no more than £300,000.

Therefore, if you avoid properties over this price range, then you won’t need to worry about additional taxes.

Hence, if you are buying a house, it is a good idea to haggle the asking price so that you can avoid the higher tax band. Or, you can ask the home seller to offer to pay the stamp duty. This is also quite possible if you know how to negotiate well.

As a Second-Time Buyer

There is a 3 percent stamp duty surcharge if you buy a second property or invest in buy-to-let properties. However, you can avoid paying the surcharge on the second home if the value of the property is less than £40,000 or if it is a moveable property, like a mobile home or a houseboat.

Stamp duty will also not apply on properties that have seven years or less left on the lease or if you inherit a 50% or less share on a property.

Another option that can help you reduce the surcharge is if you buy a new property as your main residence. This means you will have to pay only a standard stamp tax rate.

Transfer of the Property

If you have bought a mortgage-free home, you will not be required to pay stamp taxes on the market price of the property. This is beneficial for people who are gifted or inherit properties.

However, if a share of the property is transferred to you and you agree to pay off its mortgage, then, in that case, you will also have to pay the stamp duty.

Buy Out a Jointly-Owned Home

If you are divorcing your spouse or spitting up from a civil partnership and you own a home jointly with them, you can buy out your ex-spouse’s share without having to pay the stamp duty for it.

However, unmarried people or those not in a civil partnership will need to pay stamp duty if they own a home jointly.

Apply for a Stamp Duty Refund

In some cases, you can apply for a stamp tax refund if you have paid a stamp duty before. For example, you are allowed to request a refund for the 3% stamp duty surcharge you paid for an additional home if you sell your first home within three years of buying the new property.

This is beneficial for people who have bought a second property but are unable to sell off their first house. Even though they will have to pay a 3% surcharge when buying the second property, they can claim it back if they manage to sell their old home within 36 months.

Pay Separately for Fixtures and Fittings

Stamp duty is only levied on the property you purchased, and any removable furniture and fixtures in the house are not subject to that. This means you can deduct the value of your furniture, carpets, curtain, kitchen appliances, and other removable objects from the purchase price.

If a seller is generous enough to leave you certain items, you can agree to pay some amount for them and ask them to remove that amount from the purchase price. However, this should only be done on a “just and reasonable basis,” so make sure you consult a good property accountant or advisor before you agree to this.

Build a Home

This option may not be practical for some people; however, if you can wait a few years to get your home, it is a good idea to just buy a piece of land with a building permit on it. This way, you will only have to pay stamp duty on the land rather than on the price of the property once it is completed.

“Does all of this seem confusing to you? If you are interested in more stamp duty advice, reach out to us today at and talk to our expert property tax specialists and accountants today”

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