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Stamp duty when selling your house – help the buyer and help yourself

When you are selling your house, more often than not you are also likely to be selling a range of fixtures and fittings that go along with it. Stamp duty is still worth thinking about even though it’s paid by buyers.

You may, for example be including some of these in with the sale at no additional cost to the buyer:-

  • White goods, washing machines, fridges, cookers etc.,
  • Furniture
  • Carpets
  • Curtains
  • Garden equipment
  • Leisure or fitness equipment, Jacuzzi etc.,
  • And of course…… don’t forget the garden shed.

Provided you identify these separately in the sale contract, their value can be excluded by the buyers when working out their stamp duty charge.

If you are selling at a value over say £250,000 (now £500,000 until the end of March 2021) being able to allocate part of the sale price to stamp duty free items may provide an incentive to buyers to make or even increase their offer.

What you cannot do is allocate an arbitrary amount when pricing up your list of “exempt” fixtures and fittings.

You will need to come up with realistic valuations based on the original cost price.

Unless you have a very special gold plated garden shed, valuing it at say £5,000 would beg the unwanted attention of HMRC, who would be entitled to class the transaction as tax avoidance.

Selling personal, home based assets in this way should not create any other tax issues such as Capital Gains Tax for example. You do not need to declare any gain on the sale of a personal asset unless the disposal proceeds exceed £6,000.

The best thing to do is to draw up a list of all of the assets that you are including in with the sale of your property and see what it all amounts to. If it is a significant sum, say in excess of £10k and the property you are selling attracts SDLT at 5% or more, it’s worth talking to the agent that is handling your sale.

If the property you are selling is a 2nd home or a Buy to Let then this principle is all the more significant as the SDLT bands are 3% higher than those for first homes (principal private residences).

SDLT rates changed on 8 July when the Chancellor introduced a Stamp Duty holiday for properties costing up to £500,000 until 31 March 2021 to revive the housing market as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Latest details can be found here

Property advice from THP

If you’re thinking of selling your property or looking to buy and are in need to financial guidance contact THP today for advice and assistance with your property purchase, with offices in CheamChelmsfordWanstead, and Saffron Walden.

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About Jon Pryse-Jones

Since joining THP in 1978, Jon Pryse-Jones has been hands on with every area of the business. Now specialising in strategy, business planning, and marketing, Jon remains at the forefront of the growth and development at THP.

An ideas man, Jon enjoys getting the most out of all situations, “I act as a catalyst for creative people and encourage them to think outside the box,” he says, “and I’m not afraid of being confrontational. It often leads to a better result for THP and its clients.”

Jon’s appreciation for THP extends to his fellow team members and the board.  “They really know how to run a successful business,” he says.  He’s keen on IT and systems development as critical to success, and he continues to guide THP to be at the cutting edge and effective.

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