The threshold at which SDLT becomes payable on the purchase of a residential property is raised from £120,000 to £125,000 for land transactions from 23 March 2006. As transactions above the threshold are charged in full at 1%, there is no saving for someone buying a house for £126,000, but a purchaser at £124,000 will save £1,240.
The higher thresholds for the 3% and 4% rates remain at £250,001 and £500,001, and (in spite of some alarmist predictions) no higher rates were introduced.
Unit trust transfers
The property industry has enjoyed a relief from SDLT when properties have been transferred to a new unit trust. From Budget Day, such transfers will now attract SDLT based on their market value.
Scope of the tax
The rules will be amended to make clearer which transfers are charged to SDLT and which are not. In particular, transfers of interests in a partnership which has the main activity of carrying on a trade or profession will be outside the scope of SDLT.