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    • James Day
    • By James Day 9th Nov 18, 9:03 PM
    • 4Posts
    • 1Thanks
    James Day
    Stamp Duty: First time Buyer Marries Homeowner + new property
    • #1
    • 9th Nov 18, 9:03 PM
    Stamp Duty: First time Buyer Marries Homeowner + new property 9th Nov 18 at 9:03 PM
    Hi,

    I am hoping that this thread can clear up my confusion where I stand with stamp duty rates and tax, I have done a lot of research on the web only to find conflicted answers and some of whom were solicitors.

    The scenario is this:

    I have been saving as a first time buyer to buy my own home for about 10 years, I recently married my partner who already owns a property (the property and mortgage are solely in her name on the deeds etc. and i consider this her property and not mine - even in the event of divorce).

    Since marriage my plan was to buy my own home (solely my name on the deeds and mortgage etc,) separate to my wife as we like our own space and storage and I work away alot etc. - you could say we are not that traditional.

    To my shock I have recently learnt during a conversation with someone that as I am married not only am I not considered a first time buyer anymore that also this would be considered a second home (even though my wife and I deem our finances to be separate and the property is in her own name) and hence I would have to pay higher rate of stamp duty should i buy my own house (i.e. it would be around 10k stamp duty tax) which is not feasible for me as I can't just throw that sort of money away to the government. I seemed to have jumped from saving for my first home as a first time buyer, to a buyer of a second home just for being married.

    What happens if I separate from my partner? does this mean I would still have to pay higher rate of stamp duty tax if I bought a home (it would be 10k ish) unless we were divorced? This feels very harsh to me as I was saving for my first home before marriage, and as I moved into my wife's home I would leave 'her' property upon separating - I would have to pay the higher rate of stamp duty while separated until divorced would mean I am locked out of buying a house (that i would consider my first house) and I would have to rent again. Not sure if this would violate some sort of human right?

    If I get divorced would I then be considered a first time buyer again for stamp duty purposes and be exempt from stamp duty tax? or because I have been married to a homeowner (even if they 100% keep their house and 0% to me) will I never be classed as a first time buyer ever again for stamp duty purposes?

    I am not sure if anything I have said is true or not at this stage - its a bit of a confusion at the moment but would like to know where I stand before looking for a house on my own to see if this is feasible for me anymore.

    Thanks in advance.
Page 1
    • SDLT Geek
    • By SDLT Geek 9th Nov 18, 10:23 PM
    • 360 Posts
    • 216 Thanks
    SDLT Geek
    • #2
    • 9th Nov 18, 10:23 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Nov 18, 10:23 PM
    As things stand, when you buy the higher rates would be due.

    If someone in a similar position to you was separated from their spouse in circumstances likely to prove permanent they would qualify as a first time buyer.

    If someone in a similar position to you was divorced from their spouse they would qualify as a first time buyer.

    This is all hypothetical presumably, given that you have only just married.
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 10th Nov 18, 9:18 AM
    • 3,021 Posts
    • 4,879 Thanks
    trailingspouse
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:18 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:18 AM
    On a separate post, a couple of weeks ago, someone was criticised for asking what the score would be financially if he (hypothetically) married and then divorced. He was shot down in flames for being unromantic.
    But I made the point on that thread, and I'll make it again here - real life is not like a Disney movie. We all need to get much more clued-up about precisely how being married will affect us financially, and have those conversations with the people we want to share our life with.

    I think you, OP, have had that conversation, and the two of you are being very straightforward with each other about wanting to retain your financial independence. Unfortunately the system isn't set up to cope with it.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 10th Nov 18, 9:29 AM
    • 19,098 Posts
    • 17,503 Thanks
    AdrianC
    • #4
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:29 AM
    • #4
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:29 AM
    A married couple is treated as a single entity for SDLT.

    Even disregarding the marriage, if the two of you were to buy as joint owners, then there is a non-FTB in the purchase - who owns another property, so not only would there be no FTB discount on SDLT, but the +3% hike would apply.


    Not sure if this would violate some sort of human right?
    No, it really doesn't.
    • p00hsticks
    • By p00hsticks 10th Nov 18, 9:31 AM
    • 6,482 Posts
    • 7,016 Thanks
    p00hsticks
    • #5
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:31 AM
    • #5
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:31 AM
    I think you, OP, have had that conversation, and the two of you are being very straightforward with each other about wanting to retain your financial independence. Unfortunately the system isn't set up to cope with it.
    Originally posted by trailingspouse

    The problem is that they don't appear to have had the conversation before they got married, which is when they should have - prior to marriage the OP could have bought his/her own property without all the hurdles and additional costs s/he now face.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 10th Nov 18, 9:35 AM
    • 9,075 Posts
    • 9,662 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #6
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:35 AM
    • #6
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:35 AM
    This is all hypothetical presumably, given that you have only just married.
    Originally posted by SDLT Geek
    "Sorry darling, I'm going to have to dump you for tax reasons."
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 10th Nov 18, 9:47 AM
    • 7,213 Posts
    • 6,899 Thanks
    00ec25
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:47 AM
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:47 AM
    Not sure if this would violate some sort of human right?.
    Originally posted by James Day
    please do not trivialise a vital concept for the sake of your financial greed

    your research should easily have confirmed:

    a) co-ownership means the rules are tested against each individual alone. If one fails then both fail together. Does not matter if the co-owners are married or not in that context.

    b) if you buy as sole owner, you are tested as sole owner.
    Last edited by 00ec25; 10-11-2018 at 1:13 PM.
    • -taff
    • By -taff 10th Nov 18, 11:02 AM
    • 8,691 Posts
    • 7,977 Thanks
    -taff
    • #8
    • 10th Nov 18, 11:02 AM
    • #8
    • 10th Nov 18, 11:02 AM
    Not sure if this would violate some sort of human right?.
    Originally posted by James Day

    Paying more tax is not a violation of a basic human right...
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 10th Nov 18, 11:14 AM
    • 5,453 Posts
    • 4,093 Thanks
    sheramber
    • #9
    • 10th Nov 18, 11:14 AM
    • #9
    • 10th Nov 18, 11:14 AM
    So you would ditch your wife for the sake of 10k?
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 10th Nov 18, 12:14 PM
    • 3,007 Posts
    • 2,061 Thanks
    Tom99
    So you would ditch your wife for the sake of 10k?
    Originally posted by sheramber
    Hold on, a divorce will cost 550 so a net saving of 9,450.
    But that has probably had at least 20% income tax deducted so say lets 11,812 roughly.
    Less a few flowers to say good bye, say a nice round 11,000
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 10th Nov 18, 12:41 PM
    • 27,292 Posts
    • 16,325 Thanks
    xylophone
    wanting to retain your financial independence.
    Seems to be more than that going on here....

    Since marriage my plan was to buy my own home (solely my name on the deeds and mortgage etc,) separate to my wife as we like our own space and storage and I work away alot etc. - you could say we are not that traditional.
    You'd wonder why they bothered to get married.....can it have been for tax reasons......
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