Calculation Errors

(Common SDLT Misconceptions and Misunderstandings)

Misconception. SDLT is Calculated on the Purchase Price Alone

(Common SDLT Misconceptions and Misunderstandings>Calculation Errors)

➤ SDLT is calculated on the total consideration of a property transaction, which can include the purchase price, value of goods, chattels, fixtures, and assumed debts, not just the purchase price alone.

Many believe that Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is solely calculated based on the purchase price of a property. This misunderstanding can lead to inaccurate calculations of tax liabilities.

Reality

SDLT Includes More Than Just the Purchase Price. SDLT calculations can encompass a variety of factors beyond the simple transaction price. This includes the value of any goods, chattels, or fixtures (like fitted kitchens or bathroom suites) that are part of the sale. Essentially, anything that constitutes “consideration” given in exchange for the property can affect the SDLT payable.

How SDLT Calculation Works

  • Consideration: SDLT is calculated on the total consideration, which includes money exchanged and the market value of any other assets given in exchange.
  • Goods and Chattels: If personal property (goods or chattels) is included in the sale, its value is part of the consideration if it’s above a certain threshold.
  • Fixtures and Fittings: Integral features of a building or land (known as fixtures) are included in the calculation, whereas removable fittings may not be.
  • Debt Assumption: Assuming or taking over debt as part of the property acquisition also factors into the total consideration for SDLT purposes.

Key Points

  • Total Consideration: All elements of value exchanged in a property transaction contribute to the SDLT calculation.
  • Goods Value: The inclusion of goods in the property sale requires careful assessment to determine if they should be counted towards the SDLT calculation.
  • Debt and Other Considerations: Assumed debt or any non-monetary exchange as part of the property deal increases the SDLT liability.

 

Misconception. SDLT is Calculated on the Sale Price Alone

(Common SDLT Misconceptions and Misunderstandings>Calculation Errors)

➤ SDLT is calculated on the ‘chargeable consideration’ of a transaction, which includes the sale price, any assumed debt, and other forms of payment, not just the sale price alone.

Many believe that Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is calculated based solely on the sale price of a property or land. This misunderstanding can lead to incorrect calculations of tax liabilities.

Reality

SDLT is Based on the ‘Chargeable Consideration’. SDLT is not limited to the sale price. Instead, it encompasses the entire ‘chargeable consideration’ involved in the transaction. This includes any money exchanged, assumed debt, and other forms of payment or exchange between the buyer and seller.

How SDLT Calculation Works

  • Money Exchanged: The most straightforward component, typically the price paid for the property.
  • Assumed Debt: If the buyer takes over any existing debts or obligations as part of the transaction, this is added to the chargeable consideration.
  • Other Forms of Payment: This can include goods, services, or other non-monetary items that have a quantifiable value, exchanged as part of the property deal.

Key Points

  • Comprehensive Understanding: Recognising that SDLT calculations include various forms of consideration ensures a more accurate understanding of tax obligations.
  • Professional Valuation: In cases where non-monetary consideration is involved, professional valuation may be necessary to accurately assess the SDLT due.
  • Reliefs and Exemptions: Certain reliefs and exemptions may apply based on the nature of the transaction and the property, potentially reducing the chargeable consideration.



Misconception. Married Couples and SDLT on Second Homes

(Common SDLT Misconceptions and Misunderstandings>Calculation Errors)

➤ Married couples are considered a single entity for SDLT purposes, meaning purchasing a second home incurs the additional property surcharge on the transaction as a whole, not doubled due to marital status.

There’s a common misunderstanding that married couples purchasing a second home must pay double the amount of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). This belief stems from the notion that each individual in the marriage is separately liable for the tax, potentially doubling the charge.

The Reality

Married couples are considered a single entity for the purposes of SDLT on second homes. This means that the additional property surcharge applies to the transaction as a whole, rather than individually to each spouse. Therefore, while purchasing a second home does incur higher SDLT rates due to the surcharge, it does not double because of the marital status.

How It Works:

  • Single Entity Consideration: For SDLT purposes, the law treats married couples as one buyer. This unified treatment extends to civil partnerships as well.
  • Additional Property Surcharge: The purchase of additional residential properties, including second homes, attracts a 3% SDLT surcharge on top of the standard rates. This surcharge applies to the total price of the property, not per person.
  • Joint Ownership: When purchasing property together, both individuals’ property counts are considered. If either spouse already owns a property, then the purchase of another property will likely attract the higher SDLT rates due to the additional property surcharge.

Key Points:

  • Unified Treatment: Married couples are treated as one entity for SDLT.
  • Surcharge, Not Double: The additional SDLT is a surcharge on the entire transaction value, not a doubling of the tax.
  • Applies to Second Homes: The surcharge applies to the purchase of second homes when at least one spouse already owns property.

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This Article Written By Nick Garner
Founder Stamp Duty Advice Bureau
Author of Stamp Duty Land Tax Guide
For Property Investors.