I am about to buy my first house in UK with my girlfriend (price is £250,000)

I also own a house in Poland, that my dad gave me in his will (its value is over £40,000)

Recently it was announced in UK, that anyone buying a house that will be his main residence, will pay no stamp duty if price is below £500,000.

I find so many conflicting opinions, one saying that I indeed will not have to pay stamp duty, while other saying I will have to pay 3% of the purchase price, in this case it would be £7,500

Do I need to pay stamp duty, in shed of recent UK stamp duty holiday that government introduced?

1 Answer 1


Note: I am neither a financial advisor nor a lawyer. This is neither financial nor legal advice!

Do I need to pay stamp duty, in [light] of recent UK stamp duty holiday that government introduced?

It looks like you will have to pay Stamp Duty at 3% on the purchase price of £250,000, although you may be able to claim it back if you sell your property in Poland within three years.

The "main page" on the Gov.UK website, Stamp Duty Land Tax covers the "normal" position, but currently (28th July 2020) starts with:

From 8 July 2020 the SDLT threshold for residential properties is changing. This page will be updated soon.

The linked page, Stamp Duty Land Tax: temporary reduced rates includes two sections of interest:

Residential Rates on purchases from 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021

If you purchase a residential property between 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021, you only start to pay SDLT on the amount that you pay for the property above £500,000. These rates apply whether you are buying your first home or have owned property before.

Higher rates for additional properties

The 3% higher rate for purchases of additional dwellings applies on top of revised standard rates above for the period 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021.

So, for the time being, whether you are a first-time buyer or not, you would not normally pay any Stamp Duty on a £250,000 house. However, the house you own in Poland complicates things. From the main page on SDLT (my first link, emphasis mine):

If you’re replacing your main residence

You will not pay the extra 3% SDLT if the property you’re buying is replacing your main residence and that has already been sold.

If you have not sold your main residence on the day you complete your new purchase you’ll have to pay higher rates. This is because you own 2 properties.

You can apply for a refund if you sell your previous main home within 36 months.

There are special rules if you own property with someone else or already own a property outside England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The "special rules" page, Higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax includes (my emphasis):

You must pay the higher SDLT rates when you buy a residential property (or a part of one) for £40,000 or more, if all the following apply:

  • it will not be the only residential property worth £40,000 or more that you own (or part own) anywhere in the world
  • you have not sold or given away your previous main home
  • no one else has a lease on it which has more than 21 years left to run

So, as you are buying a (residential) property worth more than £40,000, and you do own another property anywhere in the world valued at over £40,000, and will not have sold that property on the day you buy the new one, you will have to pay 3% on the purchase price of £250,000 (= £7,500).

If you are intending to sell the property in Poland (or end up doing so) within three years, the page Apply for a repayment of the higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax goes into the details of how to apply for a refund. Note: although that page mentions being able to claim outside the three-year period in "exceptional circumstances", including COVID-19, I doubt that that will apply since the three-year clock won't start ticking until you buy the house in the UK.

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