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LBTT exemption for first time buyers in Scotland

Monday 02 July 2018

First-time buyers in Scotland can now take advantage of a higher threshold for property tax relief, following the Scottish Government's consultation earlier this year.

On Saturday, the Scottish Government announced they were raising the zero-rated Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) threshold for first-time buyers to £175,000.

The change will see around 80 per cent of first-time buyers in Scotland paying no LBTT at all, and those purchasing property at a higher value will have their tax reduced by £600, which the Scottish Fiscal Commission has estimated will benefit around 12,000 first-time buyers each year.

Minister designate for Public Finance and Digital Economy, Kate Forbes said: “From today, around 80 per cent of first-time buyers will pay no LBTT, helping thousands of people across the country buy their first home.

“Our progressive approach to the setting of LBTT rates and bands prioritises support for first-time buyers and helps others as they move through the market. Alongside our shared equity schemes, the introduction of this new relief provides further support to first-time buyers and delivers on the commitment made by the Scottish Government as part of the 2018/19 Scottish budget.”

Commenting on the new tax relief, Mark Hayward,  NAEA Propertymark Chief Executive said: “The Scottish Government has raised the tax-free Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) threshold for first-time buyers to £175,000. This means those buying their first home under the value of £175,000 will be exempt from paying any tax, and first-time buyers who are buying more expensive properties will only pay tax on any value over £175,000.

“Recent research from Legal and General revealed that the “bank of mum and dad” is behind one in four house sales in the UK, but Scottish parents typically give just £10,800 per child – compared to £30,600 in London. With lower levels of financial support from in Scotland, this LBTT exemption is welcome. Alongside further measures from the Scottish Government to increase housing supply, first-time buyers who are desperately trying to get on the housing ladder should in time find it easier to make their first purchases.”