Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax that is generally payable on the purchase or transfer of land and property in England and Northern Ireland. It is also expected in respect of certain lease premiums. You may also need to pay SDLT when all or part of an interest in land or property is transferred to you, and you give anything of monetary value in exchange.

Consider essential issues if you transfer land or property between unmarried couples and other joint owners. HMRC’s guidance on the subject states as follows:

You do not pay SDLT if two or more people jointly own property (as joint tenants or tenants in common), and you divide it physically and equally and own each part separately. But, if one person takes a more significant share or all of the other’s claims and pays cash or some further consideration in exchange, you must tell HMRC. If you pay more than the current threshold, you will pay SDLT.

Joint owners (including unmarried couples who are splitting up) may agree that one of them will take over ownership of a property they bought together, including any outstanding mortgage.

In this case, the person taking ownership will pay SDLT on the total chargeable consideration of the following (either or both) if it exceeds the SDLT threshold:

– any cash payment that one of the couple makes to the other for their share
– the proportion of the outstanding mortgage that belongs to the share of the property being transferred