From 1 April 2016, property investors will have to pay higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on the purchase of ‘additional’ residential property in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. The overall rates of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (applying to purchases of residential property) in Scotland are different, but the same principle of imposing a surcharge on ‘additional’residential properties has been adopted. Throughout the UK, these proposals mean that purchasers face an additional charge of 3% on the purchase of most buy-to-let property or second homes.
It was widely believed that commercial investors, with more than 15 properties,might be exempted from the new surcharge, but George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has confirmed that ‘significant investors’ also have to pay the added tax. The surcharge is expected to raise about a billion pounds by 2021 and some of the money will be reinvested in providing homes in areas like Cornwall and London who are said to be “priced out of home ownership”.