Consultation launched on LBTT first-time buyer relief

A consultation on the details of the first-time buyer relief from Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) has been launched by the Scottish Government ahead of the introduction of new policy later this year.

Announced in the draft Scottish Budget 2018/19, the relief will effectively raise the zero-tax LBTT threshold for first-time buyers to £175,000. Those buying their first property at above £175,000 will also benefit on the portion of the price between £145,000 and £175,000.

Around 12,000 first-time buyers will benefit from the relief each year by up to £600, with an estimated 80% of all first-time buyers paying no LBTT at all.

The consultation will seek views on the Scottish Government’s proposals in terms of eligibility and implementation of the policy.

Finance secretary Derek Mackay said: “We are committed to helping as many people as possible to buy their first home.

“Since its introduction, LBTT has prioritised support for first-time buyers and assisted people as they progress through the property market.

“Our approach to LBTT has helped take over 25,000 house purchases out of tax and has meant that 93% of home buyers have paid less tax compared to SDLT or no tax whatsoever.

“Alongside measures by the Scottish Government to increase housing supply, this will provide further support to first-time buyers in Scotland, helping them to own their own homes.”

The consultation will run until March 23 and the results will inform final decisions and the detail of the relief and legislative proposals.

The Scottish Government plans to introduce the relief, following parliamentary scrutiny, in June of this year.