Scotland and Wales both unveil stamp duty holidays

Scotland and Wales are bringing in their own stamp duty holidays, meaning the taxes will be waived on purchases up to £250,000 in both countries.

Previously to be exempt from stamp duty, known as the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) in Scotland, purchases had to be less than £145,000 north of the border or £180,000 in Wales.

The holidays will start on the 15th July in Scotland and 27th July in Wales, while they will both run until March 31st – the same as in England.

In Wales buy-to-let investors and second homes are exempt from the holiday.

Kate Forbes, Scotland’s finance secretary, said: “Overall, increasing the LBTT threshold will help increase housing market activity, boost the construction sector and stimulate our economy.”

Rebecca Evans, Welsh finance minister, said: “Unlike in England, this new threshold will not apply to the purchase of additional properties such as buy-to-lets or second homes.

“It will support people looking to purchase their first home or those seeking to move up the property ladder. So it will offer more targeted help to those who may be affected by the economic challenges resulting from the pandemic.”

Sean Randall, partner at tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg, said: “Much has been said about the stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland, including the fact that it applies to all purchasers: home-buyers and investors/developers/traders.

“Home-buyers in England and Northern Ireland may feel aggrieved that the tax break gives an edge to landlords, pushing up house prices.

“This likely to be the case too for home-buyers in Scotland; though, the draft legislation has not been published yet. But home-buyers in Wales will have some protection. “