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What is Stamp Duty?

Looking to buy your new home? It’s important to know what Stamp Duty is. You pay the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to the Government when you buy a property or piece of land above a certain threshold in England and Northern Ireland. 

This guide dives into how and when Stamp Duty is paid and how much it is for first and second-time buyers.

How much is Stamp Duty?

You could save thousands thanks to Stamp Duty changes

How much Stamp Duty you’ll pay depends on your property’s purchase price. These are the rates:

Minimum property purchase price Maximum property purchase price  Stamp Duty % 
£0 £250,000 (£425,000 for first-time buyers)

Learn more about how to calculate Stamp Duty in our comprehensive guide.


Why do I need to pay Stamp Duty?

Anyone buying a house or land in England and Northern Ireland must pay Stamp Duty. This includes leasehold and shared ownership properties and purchases that don’t require a mortgage.

Some exceptions exist, including:

• When a portion of a home is transferred to a spouse or partner following a divorce or separation
• When you gift your house to someone else

When do I need to pay Stamp Duty?

You need to file a Stamp Duty Land Tax return and pay the full amount within 14 days of buying your new home.

How do I pay Stamp Duty?

Your solicitor usually deals with the Stamp Duty return and payment. However, you can do it yourself by submitting the tax return online.

Stamp Duty for first-time buyers

If you’re a first-time buyer in England or Northern Ireland, you won’t need to pay Stamp Duty on properties worth up to £425,000. If your home costs more, these are the rates:

Purchase price Stamp Duty%
Up to £425,000 

Stamp Duty for second-time buyers

Stamp Duty on a second home or a buy-to-let costs an additional 3% on top of the standard rate. This also applies to anyone buying a primary residence abroad while owning a second home in the UK and to second homes purchased via a limited company. These are the rates:

Purchase price Stamp Duty %
Up to £250,000 

You won’t need to pay the additional 3% if your house is:

• A caravan
• A mobile home
• A houseboat

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Buying in Scotland and Wales

Stamp Duty in Scotland is referred to as the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and is charged when you buy a home of more than £145,000.

See more detail on LBTT (Scotland)

Stamp Duty in Wales is referred to as the Land Transaction Tax (LTT) and is charged when you buy a home of more than £180,000.

See more detail on LTT (Wales)

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Stamp Duty FAQs

  • Yes, stamp duty is a tax charged by the Government when you buy any home in the UK.
  • Stamp duty in Scotland is replaced by the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT).
  • Properties that are priced below £250,000 are exempted from stamp duty, and first-time buyers are also not required to pay this tax on properties that are priced below £425,000.
  • As of September 2022, the stamp duty rules in the UK are as follows:

    • No stamp duty is payable on properties up to £250,000.
    • From £250,001 to £925,000, a 5% stamp duty rate is applied.
    • From £925,001 to £1.5 million, a 10% stamp duty rate is applied.
    • Above £1.5 million, a 12% stamp duty rate is applied.

    First-time buyers are exempt from paying stamp duty on properties up to £425,000 and pay a reduced rate on properties up to £625,000.

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^Figure based on a first time buyer purchasing a property worth £543,500.