Since 1 April 2016 a higher rate of stamp duty has applied to purchases of residential properties by either someone who already owns another dwelling or a company. The extra stamp duty is set at 3% over the normal rates. It does not apply if you are replacing a main residence and that replacement can happen in a 3 year window.
For joint purchases, if one purchaser fails the test then 3% additional stamp duty is applied to the whole property.
Married couples are treated as a single unit and properties held by minor children are treated as if held by the parents.
Properties located abroad are counted as main or additional homes and there is no special treatment for furnished holiday accommodation.
The new rules are complex and there are many tax mitigation opportunities, so contact us for advice before embarking on any property purchases.