Before 2014 a 'slab structure' was in place with buyers paying a rate based on the ENTIRE property purchase price. The new rates are now payable only on the PORTION of a property price which falls within each band. As with every tax, there are those who will be better and worse off compared to the previous system.
So, if you bought a property for £850,000 you would you pay no stamp duty on the first £125,000, then 2% on £125,000 to £250,000 and 5% above £250,000. (eg: £800,000 - £250,000 = £600,000 x 0.05 = £30,000 + £2,500 = £32,500). As the property price increases the rate of pay increases within a certain tax bracket with percentages rising when a higher price threshold is reached. Under the new SDLT property over £925,000 - £1.5m will be taxed at a rate of 10% compared with 5% in 2014.
From April 2016, property buyers in England and Wales will have to pay an additional 3% on each stamp duty band
As stamp duty is only payable on the land purchase, removable fixtures and fittings, or chattels, such as freestanding wardrobes, sofas, fridges, carpets and curtains, are not subject to SDLT and can, therefore, be subtracted from from the total property price. Everything 'attached' to property such as light switches technically form part of the property and are subject to SDLT.
If a seller is willing to leave certain chattels, you should agree to pay a reasonable amount between yourself and the vendor and subtract it from the agreed purchase price. This can be executed by a good tax lawyer or conveyancer.
Stamp Duty is paid by everyone purchasing a property in England, Northern Ireland and Wales above £125,000, including overseas buyers.
You must pay stamp duty to the HMRC 30 days from the date of completion or you may risk a fine. Your solicitor or legal adviser should take care of this for you and ensure you don't miss the deadline. Some buyers prefer to add on the SDLT amount to their mortgage loan. Please speak to your mortgage provider.
New stamp duty rates and thresholds have historically been introduced every 2-5 years with the latest changes effective of December 2014.