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When Do I Have to Pay Stamp Duty?

  1. Heather from Cambridge
  2. Buying a house questions and answers


I am a First-Time Buyer and i'm confused about stamp duty. Do I have to pay stamp duty land tax before or after I purchase the property?


After your completion, you have 14 days to file a return for your stamp duty (SDLT) to the HMRC and pay any outstanding fees.  If you have used a solicitor, they will usually file this for you on the day of completion. If you do not pay your required stamp duty within 3 months, you will be fined £100.

Until March 2012, First-Time Buyers were exempt from paying stamp duty on homes valued up to £250,000. This exemption no longer applies, and depending on the value of the property you wish to purchase, First-Time Buyers may need to pay stamp duty. 

There are certain situations where you may be eligible for SDLT reliefs and exemptions. Stamp duty reliefs can reduce the amount of tax you pay, however you must still complete and submit a stamp duty return in order to claim, even if no tax is payable.

You can pay the stamp duty yourself, but if you have a conveyancer acting on your behalf then they will do this for you on your day of completion.Your solicitor or conveyancer should ensure that you do not miss the deadline for paying stamp duty.

Stamp duty can be paid in the following ways:

  • Online banking

  • Telephone banking


  • Bacs

  •  A cheque in the post

For more information and advice on SDLT and exemptions, take a look at our guide to stamp duty.

Updated November 2017: first time buyers are now exempt from paying Stamp Duty on properties up to £300,000 and will get a significant discount on properties up to £500,000.

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