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bigduckontax
bigduckontax, Accountant
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I am writing with an enquiry with regards to stamp duty. I

Customer Question

I am writing with an enquiry with regards ***** ***** duty. I divorced and remarried. During my first marriage I owned a property with my then wife. As part of the divorce settlement my ex-wife was granted the matrimonial home. At the time there was a small mortgage outstanding on the property. My ex-wife does not work and her only income is maintenance from me. The mortgage company refused to change the mortgage to the property due to her low income. As a consequence my name still appears on the deeds of the property. I have no beneficial interest in the property and am indemnified with regards ***** ***** mortgage thanks to the court order.
Since I remarried I have purchased a property with my new wife. We are looking to move and I am concerned that we may have to pay the 3% stamp duty surcharge due to my name appearing on the deeds of a property in which I have no beneficial interest. I am pretty sure this is not the case but I just wanted to get written confirmation for peace of mind, so I would appreciate feed back on the matter.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer, and pleased to be able to help you with your question.

As you already own a house in the UK the 3% surcharge will apply. If you dispose of the house occupied by your ex within three years of acquiring your new one then you can apply to the Stamp Duty Office in Birmingham for a refund of the 3% levy. However, if you are replacing your sole or main domestic residence then the surcharge does not apply. You can find a useful decision table at the Gov UK web site here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-higher-rates-of-stamp-duty-land-tax-sdlt-on-purchases-of-additional-residential-properties/higher-rates-of-stamp-duty-land-tax-sdlt-on-purchases-of-additional-residential-properties

I do hope that you have found my reply of assistance.

Expert:  bigduckontax replied 1 year ago.

I find the rating astonishing. I have just modified my original post and the customer may not have noticed an amendment.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I made clear in my question that this was not with regards ***** ***** house I currently own and am selling but with regard to a property that I have no beneficial interest in and yet which my name appears on the deeds for. I had already found the links you referred to and read them. Sorry you do not understand my situation, but when I logged into justanswer it said I was assigned someone else who used to work for HMRC which is why I submitted the question.
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 1 year ago.

Whilst the Stamp Duty Office is part of HMRC its activities are far removed from the majority of HMRC personnel's experience. I do understand your situation, but the fact that you have no beneficial interest in the property occupied by your ex is irrelevant. You own it and thus the surcharge would apply save that you are replacing an existing sole or main domestic residence and the decision table indicates that the surcharge will not be implemented.

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Expert:  bigduckontax replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your support.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Look thanks for the information. I think you are probably wrong. Just having your names on the deeds of a house does not mean you are liable for 3% duty. That is on your main residence. e.g. The rules clearly state that if you have a buy-to-let property and you sell you main residence and buy a new one then you are not liable for the 3% charge since the buy-to-let is not your main residence. The property I am worried about was my main residence some time ago but has not been for some time and my only connection with it is having my name on the deeds. Thanks anyway.
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 1 year ago.

Yes, I do appreciate your dilemma, but these rules are seldom thought through to cover every eventually. This surcharge was brought in in an attempt to deter people from having more than one property to try to free up the market in a time of housing shortage. As you are switching your main residence there is an exception anyway.

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