Stamp duty on transfer of property between spouses

Transferring your beneficial interest in property is common between spouses and civil partners, especially when looking to utilise each other's income tax free allowance (read our other article on Capital Gains Tax on Property for Married Couples).

The stamp duty on transfer of property between spouses changed on the 22nd November 2017 in relation to the additional rate of stamp duty, however there still could be stamp duty to pay. In this article we explain the stamp duty liability where a husband or a wife owns a property solely and is looking to complete a transfer of equity to jointly own the property with their spouse. There are other ways of sharing the beneficial ownership which we explain here - How to transfer ownership of property to your wife or husband

What are the stamp duty rules for a transfer of equity?

You don’t pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if you transfer an interest in land or property to your partner as part of an agreement or court order because you’re either:

  • divorcing
  • dissolving a civil partnership
This also applies if the partners either:

  • annul their marriage
  • legally separate
In these cases there’s no need to tell HMRC about the transfer, even if the value is more than the Stamp Duty Land Tax threshold.

In all other cases, stamp duty is payable on the total consideration being paid. To work out the total consideration you add the consideration being paid for the share of the property and the new owner’s share of the existing mortgage debt. If the total consideration exceeds the stamp duty threshold, then stamp duty is payable at the prevailing rate.

The payment (consideration) can take the form of cash, the giving of goods (giving a personal possession in exchange for the land/property), providing works or services (giving work or a service in exchange for the land or property), release from a debt, transfer of a debt, including the balance of an outstanding mortgage.

For example, Kelvin owns a property and wants to add on his wife Janet. Janet is not paying any money for her share of the property. The existing mortgage on completion is £300,000 and neither Kelvin or Janet own a beneficial interest in any other property.

Type of consideration

Amount of consideration

Consideration paid for share of property

£0 as Janet is not paying any money for her share of the proeprty

Existing Debt (not the new mortgage)

£300,000 / 2 Kelvin and Janet = £150,000

Total consideration used for stamp duty land tax calculation


In the example above the figure used for consideration to calculate the stamp duty payable is £150,000. You can find out how much stamp duty Janet and Kelvin have to pay by using the button below.

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Do you need help evidencing an unequal share of property for Income Tax purposes?

We specialise in the transferring of property between married couples for income tax purposes and our solicitors can help you with:
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HMRC example for additional stamp duty for spouses

"Mr Smith is transferring 50% of a buy-to-let property that he owns to his wife Mrs Smith. Mrs Smith is paying some cash and taking over responsibility for half the mortgage debt. Mrs Smith owns no other residential property but Mr Smith owns a number of other buy-to-let properties.

For transfers before 22 November 2017, the higher rates will apply to the transfer as Mr Smith owns other residential properties. As a married couple other residential property owned by either spouse is taken in to account in determining whether the higher rates apply.

For transfers on and after 22 November 2017, the higher rates will not apply as a transfer between spouses is disregarded as above."

You should call HMRC for help with Stamp Duty Land Tax queries and to confirm your own personal liability on 0300 200 3510 Opening times: 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (closed weekends).

Related News Articles

Capital Gains Tax on Property for Married Couples
Transfer ownership of property to wife or spouse

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