As of 1st April 2016 house buyers will be charged an extra 3% stamp duty on additional properties if they are worth £40,000 or more. This includes properties abroad, buy to let and properties in the UK. Even owning a share of a property can be taxed if it is worth over £40,000.

The additional 3% is added to the existing rates which are set bellow:

The Chancellor announced the change in his 2015 autumn statement. The change was to take effect at 12.00 midnight on March 31st 2016. This meant that if you hadn’t competed your house purchase by that time then the next day you would be paying the additional tax. The 3% additional also applies to the price of the whole property and not just the amount over £40,000.

Importantly, the rules treat married couples as if they are joint buyers even if they are not. As such the strategy of having one person (the one without the existing property) buy the new home does not avoid additional Stamp Duty if you are married or in a civil partnership.

There are some exemptions, for example if the property you are purchasing replaces your main residence you will not be liable for additional Stamp Duty.