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The government has announced a temporary holiday on stamp duty on the first £500,000 of all property sales in England and Northern Ireland.
Anyone completing on a main residence costing up to £500,000 between 8 July 2020 and 31 March 2021 will not pay any stamp duty, and more expensive properties will only be taxed on their value above that amount.
If the property purchased is your main home you won't pay any stamp duty on it at all if it costs £500,000 or less.
The next portion of the property's price (£500,001 to £925,000) will be taxed at 5%, and the £575,000 after that (£925,001 to £1.5 million) will be taxed at 10%
The remaining amount (over £1.5 million) will be taxed at 12%.
Before the announcement, stamp duty in England and Northern Ireland was paid on land or property sold for £125,000 or more, while first-time buyers did not pay any stamp duty up to £300,000. This stamp duty holiday replaces the first-time buyer discount.
Landlords and second home buyers are also eligible for the tax cut but will still have to pay the extra 3% of stamp duty they were charged under the previous rules.
Last week, Parliament debated an online petition requesting for the Government to extend the existing SDLT holiday, which has been in place since the 8 July 2020 and increase the stamp duty threshold in residential transactions to £500,000, and is set to expire on the 31 March 2021.
The online petition calling for the current deadline to be extended amassed a large backing, receiving nearly 150,000 signatures. The residential property market has soared in activity during this holiday period, and there has been a growing concern that many ongoing transactions may fall through once the SDLT holiday expires. This has led to suggestions that transactions nearing completion by the deadline date should still be eligible for the relief where the completion date takes place after the 31 March.
The consensus among the MPs who attended the debate was that it would help the residential property market by tapering off the SDLT relief, as opposed to the current plan for the relief to be completely stopped after the 31 March.
The Government's summary response to the petition prior to the debate, was that "the SDLT holiday was designed to be a temporary relief to stimulate market activity and support jobs that rely on the property market. The Government does not plan to extend this temporary relief."
Whilst the Government may decide to shift its position on the deadline, there is not expected to be any further announcement until 2021 Budget announcement on the 3 March.