Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) has applied since 1 December 2003 when it replaced stamp duty on UK land and buildings. SDLT is charged in bands which increase as the value of the property increases. SDLT was restructured on purchases of residential property with effect from 4 December 2014 so that the charge is now made at different rates depending on the portion of the purchase price that falls within each rate band. SDLT on non-residential property is still calculated as a ‘slab tax’ whereby a single rate, determined by the value, is applicable to the whole amount.
As an anti-avoidance measure, where high value residential property is acquired by a 'non-natural person' (such as a company) a significantly higher rate of SDLT applies. The annual tax on enveloped dwellings will also apply to such property.
Stamp duty at 0.5 percent of the price paid applies to transfers of UK shares irrespective of value. Stamp duty reserve tax instead of stamp duty is levied on transactions carried out through electronic share dealing systems (also at 0.5 percent). From 28 April 2014 stamp duty and stamp duty reserve tax were abolished on shares quoted on recognised growth markets, such as the Alternative Investment Market and the ISDX Growth Market.