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Stamp duty exemption

Stamp duty land tax is payable on the purchase of residential property at escalating rates. The first £125,000 of value is exempt from tax, but the next £125,000 is taxed at 2%. The rate then continues to rise until it reaches 12% on purchase prices in excess of £1.5

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Unmarried couples’ pensions

Civil partners, like married couples, can inherit each other’s pension rights, but unmarried couples cannot. This perceived discrimination against opposite-sex cohabiting couples is being addressed in a Bill currently before Parliament which seeks to allow such couples to register as civil partnerships. The major effect would relate to rights

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The work/ life balance

An American reporter, visiting the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution in 1919, wrote “I have seen the future and it works”. The Calvinist Chancellor and Prime Minister Gordon Brown adapted the quotation to his own view of life, saying “I have seen the future, and it is work”.

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Trustees’ liability

It is flattering to be invited to become a trustee of a charity, but the role does entail responsibilities – and potential liability. Some charities are incorporated, like limited companies, and others are not. In the same way as shareholders in limited companies, trustees of incorporated charities are not

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Employee Share Schemes

More than 10,000 UK companies offer share incentive schemes to their employees which benefit from government tax concessions. There are four types of scheme: Save-As-You-Earn (SAYE); Share Incentive Plans (SIPs); Company Share Option Plans (CSOPs); and Enterprise Management Incentives (EMIs). SAYE schemes allow employees to invest up to £500

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The march of the robots

Most people’s perception of a robot is a replica of a human being on the lines of Star Wars’ R2-D2. But the reality is rather different. Robotics – the name given to this field of development – has been defined as “a branch of engineering which overlaps with electronics,

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Payment Protection Insurance

Many people signing up for credit cards or loans have, sometimes unwittingly, also signed up for Payment Protection Insurance. This ensures repayment if the policyholder becomes unable to satisfy their liability on account, for example, of death, disability, loss of employment or illness. Claims have been rife from people

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Long Term Care dilemma

Care home chains are in trouble. Demand for places is increasing with longevity and the rising number of cases of dementia, but funding is predominantly dependent on Local Authorities, whose own stretched resources are limiting their ability to pay and leading to their demanding places at below their cost

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Hammond favours pensions

The previous Chancellor, George Osborne, reduced the annual and lifetime allowances for pension savings and at the same time increased the allowance for Individual Savings Accounts (‘ISAs’). This led many to assume that he intended that in the long term ISAs should become the principal means of saving for

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Inflation gets complicated

After an extended period of exceptionally low inflation and low interest rates, Inflation is on the rise and interest rates seem set to rise, albeit slowly, in response on both sides of the Atlantic. But inflation affects different people in different ways, and there are several alternative ways in

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Stamp duty exemption

Stamp duty land tax is payable on the purchase of residential property at escalating rates. The first £125,000 of value is exempt from tax, but the next £125,000 is taxed at 2%. The rate then continues to rise until it reaches 12% on purchase prices in excess of £1.5 million.

However, relief is available to first-time buyers who, as of 22 November 2017, are able to claim exemption in respect of properties costing no more than £300,000. Relief ceases to be available on properties costing £500,000 or more, and the excess over the £300,000 exempt limit is taxed at 5%.

The conditions of eligibility are that the buyers should be individuals who have never previously owned a freehold or leasehold interest in residential property anywhere in the world and that the property is  intended to be used as a main or only residence.