The Government has extended the three year period in which you need to sell your previous home after buying a new one in order to claim a refund for the stamp duty surcharged on second home owners.
This surcharge is the extra 3% owners of more than one property have to pay and has bee brought in in recognition of the problems thousands of home owners have had selling properties due to the Corona virus lock down.
The three year rule was intended to ensure that owners of investment or holiday homes paid additional stamp duty on homes other than their main residences. However, with the Coronona virus lockdown stopping the housing market in its tracks and some mortgage offers falling through due to reduced income, there have been good reasons for a delay beyond the original time limit.
HM Revenue & Customers has amended its guidance this week on payment, adding examples of exceptional circumstances where you may be able to apply for a refund. It says: “You may still be able to apply for a refund if you purchased your new home on or after 1st January 2017 and were unable to sell your previous home within three years. To be able to get the refund, the delay in selling must be because of reasons outside of your control. These may be, but are not limited to, the impact of coronavirus preventing the sale”.
Once the reason preventing the sale has ended, however, you must sell the previous home to be able to apply for a refund. You can then write to HMRC and include an explanation of why you were unable to comply with the three year limit.
Different rules apply in Wales where Stamp Duty has been replaced by Land Transaction Tax.
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