Revenue Scotland updates online guidance and processes following introduction of First-Time Buyer Relief
The updates follow the changes to the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Scotland) Act 2013 introduced by The Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (First-Time Buyer Relief) (Scotland) Order 2018 (‘The Order’) which came into effect from Saturday 30th June 2018.
The Order introduces tax relief for a first-time buyer acquiring ownership of a dwelling, provided certain conditions are met. The conditions are set out in the legislation and further explained in Revenue Scotland’s guidance which is available with other supporting information about the relief from www.revenue.scot/land-buildings-transaction-tax/lbtt-updates.
The relief only applies to transactions where the contract is entered into on or after 9th February 2018 and the effective date of the transaction is on or after 30th June 2018. It is therefore not available for any transactions with an effective date prior to 30th June 2018.
Where due, the relief effectively raises the zero tax threshold for first-time buyers from £145,000 to £175,000. In addition, first-time buyers buying a property above £175,000 will qualify for relief on the portion of the price below the same threshold. This means that all first-time buyers who meet the qualifying conditions will benefit from relief of up to £600.
Revenue Scotland has updated its LBTT tax return form – available online and in paper form – to enable the relief to be claimed when a return is submitted. In addition, guidance and a tax calculator have been published to help anyone seeking information about the relief and how to claim it.
Revenue Scotland head of tax, Chris Myerscough, said: “The First-Time Buyer relief is one of a number of recent changes to LBTT that have required changes and additions to Revenue Scotland’s guidance, systems and processes. Identification of the necessary changes and additions has been carried out in consultation with our external stakeholders, including representatives from LSoS and CIOT. This assistance has been valuable as it enables us to ensure that the changes are fit for purpose and meet the needs of those who submit returns to us.
“We thank stakeholders for their input and support and welcome feedback from users of the guidance and the SETS system to enable us to improve them in future.”