Stamp duty land tax – First time buyers’ relief and shared ownership

The measure

Relief for first time buyers will be extended to purchases of qualifying shared ownership property where the purchaser chooses not to make a market value election but to pay stamp duty land tax (SDLT) in stages.

Where the market value of the shared ownership property is £500,000 or less, the SDLT rates for first time buyers will be applied to the first share purchased. Relief will also apply to the rental payments. Purchasers who make a market election are already eligible for the relief for capital payment but not rents.  The proposal will also allow purchasers who have made a market election to reclaim SDLT previously paid on rents.  

Who will be affected?

Any first time buyer buying property under qualifying shared ownership arrangements.

When will the measure come into effect?

The changes will take effect on 29 October 2018 and will apply retrospectively from 22 November 2017.

A refund of tax can be claimed if the effective date of the purchase was on or after the 22 November 2017, a return was filed and SDLT paid as if no relief was due and the purchase would now qualify for first time buyers’ relief.

Our view

This is a welcome change which puts first time buyers of shared ownership property on an equal footing with other first time buyers.