Tax relief for first time buyers
Matching the UK the Scottish Government will also be providing new-buyers tax relief. The Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) is the Scottish equivalent of the UK's Stamp Duty and first-time buyers purchasing a property worth up to £175,000 will now pay no LBTT. Purchases above this sum will still benefit from relief up to the £175,000 mark.
This equates to a maximum benefit of £600 per new-buyer. It is estimated that 80% of Scotland's first-time buyers will pay no LBTT at all.
The proposals are planned to be implemented in 2018/19 following a period of consultation. During this process the qualification criteria and in particular the definition of "first-time buyer" will be refined.
A range of new policies will be implemented that will have a positive impact on Business Rates. These include:
- Rates bill increases due to improvements / expansion works will not take effect until 12 months after the work is completed
- There will be tax relief for day nurseries
- "Fresh Start Relief" will be expanded to cover all property types and the level of relief will also be increased for the first year of new occupation (Under the Fresh Start programme, businesses occupying long-term empty properties may be entitled to business rates discounts)
- From 2022 revaluations will be three-yearly and based on market conditions on a date one year prior
The Small Business Bonus Scheme will continue to assist some small businesses by providing up to 100% Business Rates relief.
A new "Building Scotland Fund" has been announced to help to generate more affordable homes and to reduce homelessness. Plans include a £756 million investment in 2018-19 to deliver 50,000 affordable homes which is part of a £3 billion package.
Funded for existing "Help to Buy" and "Open Market Shared Equity" schemes will be continued.
A new "Building Scotland Fund" will be established to support construction jobs, to accelerate housing and industrial premises development and to support property based research and development. The "Scottish National Investment Bank" will also be implemented.
Alan Baxter, Area Director (Scotland) for LSL Land & New Homes, commented that "This is an important extension to the tax relief for first time buyers. The profile of this buyer has shifted over recent years to include a substantial number of current long term rental tenants. There is strong evidence to show substantial numbers are keen to now buy their own home and take advantage of the current value in the market". Click here to contact Alan Baxter...