Can two parties pay Stamp Duty on the same property?
Sara from Manchester
Legal questions and answers
I am currently in the process of buying a property with my partner. We were wondering if it would be possible for the two of us to pay the 'Stamp Duty' on the property? If so how would we go about this and would we need to go through a solicitor? Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated as we have been having trouble finding a direct answer from the government websites related to the matter.
It is the buyer’s responsibility for paying the Stamp Duty owed due on a property transaction. Anyone can pay it so long as it is done within 28 days of completion.
If you are buying the property using a mortgage, then it is likely to be one of the mortgage conditions that SDLT is paid by your solicitor and therefore you will need to give this to them at the same time as your completion balance. Each solicitor may have a different policy, but there shouldn’t be a problem paying this to them with 2 separate cheques.
Even if there is no SDLT to pay, you must submit an SDLT return online. If you are buying the property with cash and you do not wish to appoint your solicitor to do this then you can do this yourself. When you have done it, you will be given a Unique Transaction Reference Number (UTRN). Make a note of this as it will be the reference you need to quote when you send the payment of the tax to HMRC.
Making sure that you complete the tax return form and paying SDLT is a legal requirement and harsh penalties are incurred if you don’t do it within the time limit. If you are unsure then you should ask your solicitor to deal with this on your behalf and if done at the same time as your conveyancing, shouldn’t incur a large increase in costs. Always check with your solicitor first as this service may be included in the fixed fee they have quoted to you.
You may wish to look at our article about Stamp Duty. It can be viewed by clicking here. Remember that as of November 2017, first time buyers are exempt from paying Stamp Duty on properties up to £300,000, and will get a discount on properties up to £500,000.