I was just looking at what the current rules for are for Stamp Duty and the obvious place to look is here.
First time buyers at the moment, I noticed, are getting a bit of a hand and instead of having to pay stamp duty from a purchase price of £125,000, don’t have to pay anything until the spend over £250,000.
Now, arguably, if you’re spending nearly £250k on your first home then you don’t really need that much of a hand onto the property ladder, but that isn’t the point of this post. What did catch my eye was the definition given for a first time buyer…
If you are a first-time buyer the threshold for when you start to pay SDLT is £250,000. This is only if you have never owned a house or flat in the UK or anywhere else in the world. If you are buying with someone else they must never have owned property before either. This higher threshold applies to purchases made on or after 25 March 2010 and before 25 March 2012.
A first time buyer is someone that hasn’t owned a house or flat. Anywhere. Not just in the UK, but worldwide.
How the fuck do HMRC know if someone has owned a house or flat anywhere other than the UK? I imagine some of this information gets onto the books via the land registry (obviously), tax returns and other things like that, or friendly foreign government agencies might help out, but do HMRC just take everyone at their word? Do they actually investigate to make sure they are fresh to the home-owning scene?
Wth this thought in my head I submitted a Freedom of Information request to them…
Dear HM Revenue and Customs,
This request is regarding the Stamp Duty Land Tax relief currently available to first time buyers.
People buying house or flat for the first time on or after 25th March 2010 and before 25th March 2012 do not pay any SDLTX on a property with a purchase price of £250,000 or less.
See here http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/Taxes/TaxOnPropertyAndRentalIncome/DG_4015918
The definition of “first time buyer” is someone that has not owned a house or flat in the UK or anywhere else in the world.
What I would like to know is
1) How much has HMRC spent in finding out if someone has previously bought a house or flat in the UK.
2) How much has HMRC spent in finding out if someone has previously bought a house or flat anywhere else in the world.
3) How much STLD has HMRC recovered from people who have claimed not to have previously owned a house or flat but have owned one in the UK
4) How much STLD has HMRC recovered from people who have claimed not to have previously owned a house or flat but have owned one somewhere in the rest of the world.
5) How many first time purchases have HMRC investigated whether the buyers have previously owned a house or flat?
6) How many of these investigations have HMRC found people claiming not to have owned a house or flat have actually owned a house or flat a) in the UK and b) anywhere else in the workd?
Could you give the most upto date figures possible and broken down in to months, and for purchases in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.