On 29 October the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, delivered his autumn budget with half an eye toward Brexit and the coming year.
The majority of the budget focused on wide-ranging policy decisions, however there were a couple of points that impact on the purchase of properties in England.
Firstly, the stamp duty land tax exclusion introduced at the last budget for first-time buyers on properties up to £300,000 has now been extended for first-time buyers of shared ownership properties (i.e. where two or more people are buying jointly) valued up to £500,000.
The Chancellor also announced the measure will be retrospective so that any first-time buyer who has made a purchase since the last budget would be allowed to amend their stamp duty return and claim the additional exclusion.
Anyone therefore who has purchased a property as a first-time buyer in joint names since 22 November 2017 (being the date of the last budget) should contact their solicitor to see if a tax rebate can be claimed.
In addition, a consultation has been announced which will be published in January 2019 on a possible surcharge of 1% for non-UK residents buying residential property in England and Northern Ireland.
08.11.18: Important update on first-time buyer relief
HMRC have now clarified the extension of relief for first-time buyers announced in the 2018 Budget.
From 29 October 2018 the relief will be extended to include first-time buyers purchasing through approved shared ownership schemes who do not elect to pay SDLT on the market value of the property but instead pay SDLT in stages. This extension will apply retrospectively from 22 November 2017 onwards.
An example of this would be where a first-time buyer pays for a share in a property with a market value of less than £500,000 where the remaining share is owned by a qualifying body such as a Housing Association (i.e. pays £160,000 for a 50% share in a property worth £400,000).
The rebate will not therefore affect anyone who has not bought through an approved shared ownership scheme as suggested above
A refund of tax can be claimed if the effective date of the purchase was on or after the 22 November 2017 and a return has been submitted and SDLT paid in circumstances which now qualify for first-time buyers’ relief.
Claims for refunds must be made in writing to HMRC no later than 28 October 2019 with relevant details of the transaction including the reason why the amendment is being made (i.e. claiming first time buyers’ relief), the UTRN for that return (this is the unique reference number on the original SDLT return), revised figures and confirmation of the amount of SDLT to be refunded and confirmation of who to pay.