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Stamp Duty Help for Family Exchanges

Newsletter issue - April 07.

The rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) were not changed in the Budget. The duty is payable on all homes valued at over £125,000, (or £150,000 in a disadvantaged area), and on all commercial properties valued at over £150,000.

However there was one welcome change for family members who want to exchange properties. Currently when a widowed grandparent living alone in the former family home wants to exchange that large house for a small property currently occupied by her daughter, the total value of both properties is added to together to work out the SDLT rate that will apply.

So where a property worth £300,000 is exchanged for a property worth £220,000, the total value of the properties is £520,000 and the rate of SDLT on both transactions is 4%, giving a SDLT charge of £20,800. After the law is changed in July 2007 there will be a charge at 1% on the acquisition of the property worth £220,000, and a charge at 3% on the acquisition of the property worth £300,000, giving a total SDLT charge for the family of £11,200.

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