A no-nonsense guide to stamp duty
In most parts of the UK, you are required to pay stamp duty when you buy property above a certain market value. Since 1694, stamp duty has been used in the UK as a form of tax placed on documents, publications, and other amenities. The tax was often certified by a physical stamp being pressed onto the document in question – hence the name!
The tax on buying property that we now know as Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a stamp duty only in name. Introduced quite recently in 2003, its modern function bears no resemblance to the old tax on legal instruments. Rather, SDLT is in fact a ‘transfer tax’ that applies only to transactions of land and property. Now that you know the history, it’s time to understand how it works!