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Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced a retrospective change in stamp duty land tax (SDLT) for first time buyers of shared ownership properties in the 2018 Budget. This means that hundreds of people can claim back their taxes.

Buyers of shared ownership properties can opt to pay stamp duty as a one-off payment relating to the market value, or in stages as ownership of the property increases.

At the Budget last year, the chancellor announced a cut in stamp duty for first-time buyers for properties up to £300,000 and for the first £300,000 of properties up to £500,000 (though for these properties a 5% stamp duty charge is applied).

While last year’s budget did apply to first-time buyers of shared ownership properties it was limited to those who opted to pay SDLT on the full value of the property.

The 2018 budget confirmed that the first-time buyer SDLT relief will now also apply to those who opt to pay the tax in stages when increasing ownership. The treasury also confirmed that the relief will be backdated to 22 November 2017 (last year’s budget) so that any shared ownership purchases from this date can benefit from the relief and claim the tax back.

Any first-time buyers who purchased a shared ownership property and believe that they are entitled to a refund, should contact HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in writing, explaining why the amendment should be made and citing all relevant details of the transaction.

Refunds need to be claimed no later than 28th October 2019.

For advice on this, or any other residential property matter, contact our experience Residential Conveyancing team on 0191 281 6151.

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