Since 1 April 2016 when you buy a residential property you may need to pay a 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) supplement on the value of the property. This supplement isn’t due if you are replacing your main home. But the supplement is due on the entire purchase price if you acquire a property which comprises two residences or dwellings.
Where a property has an annexe which can be occupied independently from the main home, such as a ‘granny flat’, the SDLT supplement could potentially apply. This is currently the case even if the whole property is defined on a single set of deeds and the annexe can’t be sold separately from the main property.
The Government has been alerted to this problem and will amend the new SDLT rules as they as pass through Parliament this summer. The SDLT supplement won’t apply to a house with an annexe which can’t be sold separately and is not worth more than one third of the main property.
In the meantime, if you have paid the SDLT supplement on a property which is to replace your main home, you can apply for a refund of SDLT from HMRC.
Properties in Scotland are subject to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), which also has a 3% supplement for second homes. Be aware that the LBTT rules are different from the SDLT supplement rules.