On 15 July, the Scottish government reduced the rate of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) following a similar reduction to the rate of residential Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the recent Summer Economic Update.
LBTT is payable by the purchaser in a land transaction occurring in Scotland. SDLT applies to land transactions in England and Northern Ireland.
The threshold at which residential LBTT is paid has been raised from £145,000 to £250,000 in order to help homebuyers following the coronavirus lockdown. Announcing the change, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said that 80% of homebuyers will be exempt from paying LBTT.
Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said:
‘Overall, increasing the LBTT threshold will help increase housing market activity, boost the construction sector and stimulate our economy.
‘Alongside this distinctive Scottish approach to raising the starting threshold for LBTT, I am also targeting further support in other areas. For example, we are injecting £50m into our First Home Fund, which provides first time buyers with up to £25,000 to buy a property. This will help an estimated 2,000 first time purchases.
‘To mitigate the immediate adverse impact on the housing market in Scotland as a result of the Chancellor’s announcement, we are now working at pace on the necessary legislation and to ensure Revenue Scotland is ready to collect and manage the tax.’