How the latest UK stamp duty plans impact expats

Theresa May recently announced plans to introduce an additional layer of stamp duty for overseas buyers of UK property.

This is a move that could obviously affect British expats who are looking to buy a place in the UK; either to rent out or as a home to live in on their return.

The new rate could be up to 3% and would be due in addition to the existing 3% surcharge on second properties.

Current stamp duty rates on UK residential property

Stamp duty rates on UK residential properties
Source: HM Revenue and Customs

For example, if you were buying a property worth GBP500,000, the total stamp duty due, should the new rule be implemented, would be 8% (i.e. GBP40,000). This assumes you didn’t already own property in the UK. If you did, it would be 11% (i.e. GBP55,000).

The theory is that the proceeds of the additional tax would be used to tackle rough sleeping. While this is laudable, it seems unfair that expats will be punished as a result.

It should be noted, that this new tax is currently only at the proposal stage with no date yet set for implementation. However, if you are considering purchasing property in the UK then it is worth keeping an eye on.