Introduction to stamp taxes

By Tolley in association with Grant Thornton's stamp taxes team

The following Corporation Tax guidance note by Tolley in association with Grant Thornton's stamp taxes team provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Introduction to stamp taxes
  • SDLT
  • Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT)
  • Stamp Duty

There are currently three UK stamp taxes which apply to transactions involving real estate and stocks and marketable securities. Two of these are relatively modern taxes:

  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), applying broadly to transactions in land interests situated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • SDLT, applying to UK shares and certain other securities

The third, Stamp Duty, has been in existence for over 300 years and is a tax on documents, still involving the impression of a stamp. Each tax is briefly described below, with links to separate guidance notes containing further details.

It should be noted that from 1 April 2015, SDLT on land transactions in Scotland was replaced by a new Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). The legislation underpinning LBTT is largely contained in the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Scotland) Act 2013 (subscription sensitive). See the Revenue Scotland website  for further information.

SDLT will also be devolved to Wales from April 2018 with the introduction of the Welsh Land Transaction Tax (LTT). Further information and draft legislation is available on the Welsh Government website .


SDLT was introduced from 1 December 2003 to replace stamp duty on transactions involving interests in land and buildings. Its scope is much wider than stamp duty in that it may apply to any acquisition of a chargeable interest, and is a self-assessed tax on the transaction, in many cases requiring the submission of an SDLT return to HMRC.

The tax is in most cases based on the amount or value of the consideration (including VAT where applicable) given for the subject matter of the transaction. The rate of SDLT depends on whether the property is exclusively residential or includes non-residential property. If the property is exclusively residential

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