The Chancellor has confirmed in the Budget today that the extra 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will apply to purchases of additional residential property, such as second homes and buy-to-let properties.
This effects all properties which complete after 1st April 2016.
Purchasers will have 36 months rather than the originally proposed 18 months to either claim a refund from the higher rates or before the higher rates will apply, in the event that there is a period of overlap or a gap in ownership of a main residence.
He added there will be no exemption from the higher rates for significant investors, and the higher rates will apply equally to purchases by individuals and corporate investors.
The government will provide £60 million of the additional receipts from higher rates on additional residential properties to enable community-led housing developments, including through Community Land Trusts, in rural and coastal communities where the impact of second homes is particularly acute.
George Osborne also announced reforms to Stamp Duty Land Tax on commercial property, which will kick in at midnight tonight.
The non-residential rates will be reformed to a slice system, so that SDLT is payable on the portion of the transaction value which falls within each tax band. The new rates will be 0% for the portion of the transaction value between £0 and £150,000; 2% between £150,001 and £250,000; and 5% above £250,000. This means that all freehold and lease premium transactions below £1.05 million will pay the same or less in SDLT, meaning that smaller businesses would pay less and larger ones would pay more.