UK Stamp Duty is a type of tax which is placed on the transfer or purchase of all property and land in the UK. The amount of Stamp Duty charged will differ from one transaction to another, as the exact price is dependent on the value and type of property involved. Some of the other factors which are taken into account when Stamp Duty is being calculated include whether the property is to be used for commercial or residential purposes, whether it is leasehold or freehold, and whether the property is in a neighbourhood which has been deemed to be
Those who purchase a property in the UK will only be permitted to register ownership with the Land Registry once the HMRC has issued a Land Transaction Certificate. This document can only be issued after the buyer has reported their purchase to the HMRC, using a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT ) return, which must be filed within thirty days of the transaction being completed. Any property transaction with a value of more than £40,000 has to be reported. As such, anyone who purchases a property must pay the Stamp Duty in order to become the legal owner of it. Not only this, but if they fail to file their Stamp Duty Land Tax return within the specified time limit, they will then be automatically liable for fixed penalties, which begin at £100 and can increase after three months have passed without payment being made.
Historically, the term Stamp Duty referred to the tax placed on all written documents. This form of Stamp Duty has been around since the year 1694. Originally, the intention was to enforce this tax for just four years; however the authorities at the time found it to be highly profitable, and so it was never repealed. Stamp Duty was extended to silver, gold, insurance policies, newspapers and most notably, property over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Stamp Duty Land Tax was only introduced on the 1st of December of 2003. It was on this date that almost all other forms of UK Stamp Duty were abolished, with the exception of shares and securities transfers, and the issuing of written documents. Stamp Duty Land Tax was a new land transaction tax which was introduced via the Finance Act of 2003, although it applies to property, it does not technically hold the same meaning as the term Stamp Duty, as it is defined as being a form of transfer tax which is self-assessed, and charged on all land and property transactions.