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LBTT: stamp duty in Scotland

Use our calculator to work out how much LBTT - Scottish stamp duty - you'll need to pay when buying a home, second property or buy-to-let investment.

In this article
LBTT calculator COVID-19: LBTT rates cut until 31 March  What is Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT)? LBTT for first-time buyers
LBTT rates for home movers (standard rates) LBTT on buy-to-let and second/holiday homes Do I need to pay LBTT? How and when to pay LBTT

 

LBTT calculator

Use our calculator to find out how much Scottish stamp duty you'll pay.

COVID-19: LBTT rates cut until 31 March 

The Scottish government has temporarily raised its Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) threshold, as it seeks to reignite the property market after the COVID-19 outbreak.

First-time buyers and home movers

Rather than kicking in on purchases over £145,000, LBTT will only apply on purchases of more than £250,000 between 15 July 2020 and 31 March 2021.

The government says this means someone buying a £250,000 property will save £2,100 in LBTT – and that 80% of properties in Scotland will be exempt from LBTT entirely.

Portion of property price LBTT rate
£0-£250,000 0%
£250,001-£325,000 5%
£325,001-£750,000 10%
£750,001+ 12%

 

Buy-to-let and second homes

Those purchasing buy-to-let properties and holiday homes can also benefit from the changes, but they will still need to pay the additional surcharge of 4%.

Portion of property price LBTT rate
£0-£250,000 4%
£250,001-£325,000 9%
£325,001-£750,000 14%
£750,001+ 16%

 

What is Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT)?

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) is a tax that you usually have to pay when buying a property in Scotland.

It's a tiered tax, meaning you pay different rates on different portions of the property price.

Until 2015 those purchasing properties in Scotland had to pay stamp duty, but this is devolved and was replaced with LBTT in 2015.

LBTT for first-time buyers

**LBTT rates have changed due to a temporary LBTT holiday. The information below is based on the regular rates, which will be back in place from April 2021. See above for information on the temporary lower rates.**

The tax-free limit for properties bought by first-time buyers is £175,000, meaning that up to 80% of first-time buyers will pay no stamp duty at all.

If your first home is more expensive than this threshold, you'll still benefit from the relief on the first £175,000 of the price, meaning you could save up to £600. 

The illustration below shows the LBTT rates for first-time buyers from April 2021.

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You can use our calculator to see how much stamp duty you'll need to pay.

Table: first-time buyer LBTT rates 

Portion of property price Rate
£0-£175,000 0%
£175,001-£250,000 2%
£250,001-£325,000 5%
£325,001-£750,000 10%
£750,001+ 12%

LBTT rates for home movers (standard rates)

**LBTT rates have changed due to a temporary LBTT holiday. The information below is based on the regular rates, which will be back in place from April 2021. See above for information on the temporary lower rates.**

If you currently own a property which you're selling in order to move to a new one (or have ever owned a property before), then assuming the property you're buying will be the only one you own at the time, you'll pay the standard LBTT rates. 

LBTT will be charged if the property costs over £145,000. The tax is tiered, which means you'll pay different percentage rates on different 'portions' of the property price:

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Table: standard LBTT rates 

Portion of property price Rate
£0-£145,000 0%
£145,001-£250,000 2%
£250,001-£325,000 5%
£325,001-£750,000 10%
£750,001+ 12%

LBTT on buy-to-let and second/holiday homes

**LBTT rates have changed due to a temporary LBTT holiday. The information below is based on the regular rates, which will be back in place from April 2021. See above for information on the temporary lower rates.**

When you purchase a second home or buy-to-let property in Scotland, you have to pay an 'additional dwelling supplement'.

This means that you'll be charged an extra 4% on top of the standard LBTT rates.

Table: buy-to-let LBTT rates 

Portion of property price Rate
Properties worth less than £40,000 0%
£0-£145,000 3%
£145,001-£250,000 5%
£250,001-£325,000 8%
£325,001-£750,000 13%
£750,001+ 15%

 

 

Rates also apply to second homes and holiday homes. If total property price is over £40,000 but less than £145,000, 3% tax will be charged on the full property price.

Do I need to pay LBTT?

LBTT is usually payable whenever you make a 'land transaction' - i.e. whenever you buy property, or interest in property.

However, there are some situations when no LBTT is payable, including:

  • transactions where there is no consideration (ie no payment was made)
  • residential leases
  • property transferred in relation to a will or intestacy 
  • property transferred after divorce, separation or the end of a civil partnership
  • from the beginning of the LBTT holiday until 31 March 2021, purchases of properties costing up to £250,000
  • from 1 April 2021, purchases of properties costing up to £145,000 (if it will be your only property and you're not a first-time buyer)
  • from 1 April 2021, purchases of properties costing up to £175,000 (if you're a first-time buyer)

How and when to pay LBTT

To pay your LBTT, you'll need to make an LBTT return to Revenue Scotland.

The return must be lodged within 30 days of the sale being completed. You need to pay the amount due at the same time you file the return.

If you don't pay on time, you may face a penalty, and the purchase will not be registered until payment has been made.

Returns can be filed online, or by paper via post.

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