Regular readers may remember we mentioned Stamp Duty in our recent three part guide to the costs involved in moving house. Unless you have bought or sold a property before you may find the whole premise of this particular tax confusing – especially as the government keep moving the goalposts with regards to the thresholds and amounts due. Essentially, if you are buying a property (a new home, commercial building or land) that costs more than a certain amount then you have will be expected to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on that transaction. The rate of duty varies depending on the type of property and the price paid. It also varies depending on which part of the UK you are buying the property in.

In England and Northern Ireland, Stamp Duty is paid as a percentage of the price of properties sold for £125,000 or more – unless you are a first-time buyer – in which case you are exempt on properties up to £300,000 and 5% on any portion between £300,000 and £500,000.

In this instance, a first-time buyer is considered to be someone who has never owned a property – whether that was bought or inherited – anywhere in the world. And even if you have never owned a property – if you are buying your first property with the intention of letting it, you will not be eligible for this exemption either.

14 Days to Pay Stamp Duty

There is no way of avoiding Stamp Duty as it is essentially a tax charged by the government on the sale of the property. If you’re buying in Northern Ireland or England, then you only have 14 days to pay the levy from the date of completion (when you have the keys and all the contracts are signed).

If you take longer than 2 weeks to pay you could face a fine, with interest on top. In most cases a solicitor should handle your Stamp Duty administration and will tell you when to pay – so that you don’t have to worry about missing this essential payment.

How to Pay Stamp Duty

You will be expected to file for Stamp Duty with the HMRC as part of your property sales process. They will in turn provide you with a unique transaction number (UTRN) which you can use as a reference when making a payment.

Payment can be made using a variety of methods – either through your telephone or online banking services using the UTRN or by cheque in a post office branch or via post. If paying by cheque you will require an HMRC-issued payslip to submit with the payment. Once received, payment can take up to 3 days to clear so make sure you allow plenty of time for this to process before the 14 day deadline.

Stamp Duty Calculator

If you’d like to work out how much duty might be due on your property sale then Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert has a really useful Stamp Duty calculator – and some further detailed info on the rates you will have to pay on his website:

Ready to make your move?

Now you’ve factored the cost of Stamp Duty into your move, it could be time to think about actually moving. If you need a quote for packing, removals, storage or international shipping get in touch for a free no-obligation quote and let us take the stress out of your move.