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Can I reduce Stamp Duty by paying the seller for something else?

stamp duty word or concept represented by wooden letter tiles on a wooden table with glasses and a book

Almost always, no. Stamp Duty Land Tax ‘SDLT’ was imposed many years ago and HM Revenue & Customs has closed down loopholes to avoid or reduce SDLT.

One simple test is: if you were not buying the house would you pay the seller for the ‘something else’.

Some people think they can pay the seller’s estate agent’s invoice, or other expense, but of course this payment fails the test.

SDLT is calculated against the price that you pay for a property.

However, reliefs are available depending on the type of property you are buying and your personal circumstances, for example;

  • First time buyers
  • The Property is part of a shared ownership scheme
  • The Property includes woodland, paddocks, grazing land, farmland, etc
  • building companies buying an individual’s home
  • employers buying an employee’s house
  • local authorities making compulsory purchases
  • property developers providing amenities to communities
  • companies transferring property to another company
  • charities buying for charitable purposes
  • right to buy properties
  • registered providers of social housing
  • Crown employees
  • property investment funding

Consequently, we strongly advise you to take specialist tax advice to ensure that your circumstances are carefully considered, and all appropriate reliefs are made available to you, where Stamp Duty Land Tax savings can be made.

If you are looking for conveyancing services in the South, our expert residential property solicitors based in Salisbury, Southampton, Poole, Bournemouth and Winchester are on hand to provide you with the legal help and guidance you need. Don’t hesitate to contact Partner and Property Solicitor Lucy Spollin on 01202 339006 or contact us here.

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