Scottish Land and Buildings Transaction Tax

As part of the Scottish Budget, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes also announced changes to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) which apply from 1 April 2021.

The Scottish Government's stated policy priority for residential LBTT remains to help first-time buyers and to assist people as they progress through the property market. The current rates and bands which apply until 31 March 2021 are as follows:

Residential property (£) Rate (%)
0 - 250,000 0
250,001 - 325,000 5
325,001 - 750,000 10
750,001 and over 12

For transactions with an effective date on or after 1 April 2021 the rate bands will return to:

Residential property (£) Rate (%)
0 - 145,000 0
145,001 - 250,000 2
250,001 - 325,000 5
325,001 - 750,000 10
750,001 and over 12

The rates apply to the portion of the total value which falls within each band.

First-time buyer relief

The relief for first-time buyers of properties up to £175,000 will resume its effect by increasing the residential zero tax threshold for first-time buyers from £145,000 to £175,000. First-time buyers purchasing a property above £175,000 also benefit from the relief on the portion of the price below the threshold. According to the Government, those buying a property for more than £175,000 will receive relief on the portion of the price below the threshold and benefit from savings of up to £600.

Higher rates for additional residential properties

Higher rates of LBTT are charged on purchases of additional residential properties, such as buy to let properties and second homes. Although these are the main targets of the higher rates, some other purchasers may have to pay the higher rates.

The Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) potentially applies if, at the end of the day of the purchase transaction, the individual owns two or more residential properties. Care is needed if an individual already owns, or partly owns, a property and transacts to purchase another property without having disposed of the first property. An 18-month rule helps to remove some transactions from the additional rates (or allows a refund). The ADS is charged at 4%.

Internet link: GOV.SCOT publications

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