Find out which property transactions are exempt from Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).
You don’t pay SDLT if you buy a property in:
You don’t need to tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about some land and property transactions which are exempt from SDLT. They include:
- transactions where no money or other type of payment changes hands
- property left to you in a will
- property transferred because of divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership
You need to tell HMRC about all other land and property transactions on an SDLT return.
Property transactions where no money or other type of payment changes hands
You can give property or land away or transfer ownership to another person. If there’s no ‘chargeable consideration’ you don’t have to pay SDLT or file a return. The chargeable consideration is a payment that can be cash or another type of payment, including:
- works or services
- release from a debt
- transfer of a debt, including the value of any outstanding mortgage
Property left in a will
Property left to you in a will is almost always exempt from SDLT. This includes property that has outstanding debt on it, for example a mortgage.
It also applies to a transaction that changes the terms of a will within 2 years of someone dying. The transaction is exempt from SDLT as long as:
- a different beneficiary gets the property
- the new beneficiary doesn’t pay a compensation payment, this includes taking over a mortgage
Divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership
A transaction is exempt from SDLT when a couple divorce, separate or end their civil partnership, and they either:
- agree to split their property and land between them
- split the property under the terms of a court order
Freehold property purchases involving transactions less than £40,000
You don’t need to pay SDLT or tell HMRC about freehold land and property transactions with a total chargeable consideration of less than £40,000, unless the total chargeable consideration includes any linked transactions.
Leasehold transactions you don’t need to tell HMRC about
Leasehold purchases with a lease of 7 years or more
You don’t have to tell HMRC or pay SDLT when:
- you buy a new or assigned lease of 7 years or more, as long as the premium is less than £40,000 and the annual rent is less than £1,000
- you assign or surrender a residential or non-residential lease (granted for 7 years or more) and the chargeable consideration is less than £40,000
Leasehold property purchases where the lease is for less than 7 years
You don’t have to pay SDLT or tell HMRC if you buy a new or assigned lease of less than 7 years, as long as the chargeable consideration is less than the residential or non-residential SDLT threshold.
Chargeable consideration includes:
- any premium and the net present value of any rent in the case of a new lease
- the consideration given for the assignment or surrender of an existing lease
To work out the net present value (based on the average rent over the life of the lease) you can use the Stamp Duty Land Tax calculator.
Alternative property finance
Sometimes the financial arrangements for buying a property or land involve a secondary transaction with the lender. This follows on from the main transaction (for example when you follow Sharia law).
These later transactions may be exempt from SDLT where you meet specific conditions.
Published: 3 January 2014
Updated: 14 December 2017
- From 1 April 2018 SDLT will no longer apply in Wales. You'll pay Land Transaction Tax which is dealt with by the Welsh Revenue Authority.
- First published.