First Time Buyer Relief

First time buyer LBTT rates & calculations

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Stamp Duty News

Stamp duty for first time buyers has been abolished for most purchasers.

Stamp duty for buy to let property has increased substantially from April 2016.

Stamp duty for second homes also attracts a 3 percent surcharge from April. Mobile homes, caravans and houseboats are exempt.

Stamp duty refunds are available for home movers replacing their main residence. The original home must be sold within 3 years.

Stamp duty calculations are different in England and Northern Ireland to LBTT calculations in Scotland and LTT calculations in Wales.

LBTT First Time Buyer Relief

The Scottish Government introduced LBTT first time buyer relief from June 2018.

The LBTT information on this page has been updated following the end of the LBTT holiday on 31st March 2021.

LBTT first time buyer relief

LBTT first time buyer relief is now available to all first-time buyers who buy a home which they intend to occupy as their main residence. The relief is therefore only available for residential property transactions.

By increasing the initial LBTT threshold for first time buyers to £175k, the Scottish Government predict the majority of first time buyer transactions will attract no tax.

First time purchases above £175k will also benefit from the first time buyers relief on the portion below the £175k threshold.

LBTT First time buyer rates

LBTT first time buyers relief thresholds and rates are shown in the table below.

Tax Band First Time Buyer Rate
less than £175k 0%
£175k to £250k 2%
£250k to £325k 5%
£325k to £750k 10%
rest over £750k 12%
The Scottish Government introduced first time buyer relief from June 2018.

First time buyer definition

A first time buyer is defined as individual who does not currently own, or has previously owned, a property in Scotland the rest of the UK, or anywhere else in the World.

Joint purchasers

Where a property is being purchased jointly, both parties will need to meet the relevant criteria to qualify for LBTT first time buyer relief.

Inherited property

If an individual inherits property, or has property gifted to them, this will be taken into consideration when assessing previous ownership status.

Trustees and Executors

If someone owns as property as a Trustee or Executor, they are not considered to be an existing owner for the purpose of LBTT first time buyer relief.

Occupation as a main residence

First time buyers must be able to demonstrate that the property being purchased will be their main residence. Although it is not necessary to occupy the property immediately, the buyer must indicate a clear intention to do so in the future. This allows for renovation, structural or remedial work to be completed after purchase and before occupation.

LBTT first time buyer relief is not available when a property is purchased for a purpose other than as a main residence, for example as a buy to let investment.

Claiming LBTT first time buyer relief

LBTT first time buyer relief must be claimed through Revenue Scotland, the tax authority for collection and management of Scotland's devolved taxes.

It is possible to claim the relief either when an LBTT return is first submitted, or as an amendment of that return. Claims can be made online or by completing a paper form.

The LBTT calculator is designed to give you an idea of your LBTT liability when buying a freehold residential property in Scotland. LBTT calculations are rounded down to the nearest pound. The information on this page should be used for guidance only.
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