Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) was introduced for land transactions with effect from 1 December 2003. Whereas stamp duty was a tax on documents, SDLT is a tax based on the acquisition of a chargeable interest, whether or not evidenced in writing.
When it was originally introduced, SDLT applied to all UK land transactions. Devolution has resulted in Scotland and Wales introducing their own regimes.
From 1 April 2015, land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) applies to land transactions in Scotland. For details of LBTT, see Sergeant and Sims on Stamp Taxes AA12–AA22 (SSSD, AA[AA351]–SSSD, AA[AA862]). See also the guidance on the Revenue Scotland website.
From 1 April 2018, land transaction tax (LTT) applies to land transactions in Wales. For details of LTT, see Sergeant and Sims on Stamp Taxes AA23–AA34 (SSSD, AA[AA901]–SSSD, AA[AA2115]). See also the guidance on the Welsh Revenue Authority website.
Whilst the underlying rules applying to LBTT, LTT and SDLT are broadly similar in nature, the taxes are not identical. The rest of this guidance note covers the law which applies to transactions in England and Northern Ireland.
This guidance note focuses on the SDLT rates that apply to transactions where the purchaser is an individual, including changes announced in Budget 2021. For a discussion of the transactions that are chargeable to SDLT, the meaning of chargeable consideration, the meaning of residential and non-residential property, anti-avoidance provisions and SDLT reporting, see the SDLT on property acquisitions by individuals guidance