Avoid the UK Stamp Duty Devil

Avoid the UK Stamp Duty Devil

Avoid the UK Investment Property Tax (Stamp Duty) Devil

The UK’s Stamp Duty is akin to the American Investment Property Tax. According to British news source Daily Mail, Chancellor George Osborne announced that England’s stamp duty bill will increase starting April 2016. The increase in stamp duty bill brings good news and bad news. The good news is for first-time homebuyers in England: first homes are completely exempt from the increase. The bad news is for property investors: the increase applies to second homes and all investment properties. For those who have invested in buy-to-let properties, this means a possible tripling of current stamp duty bills. Avoid the UK stamp duty devil by investing in Florida real estate.

Florida’s property prices and property taxes offer a great opportunity in the real estate rental market given England’s soon-to-be huge hike in stamp duty bill for second homes.

Whether you plan to flip houses in Florida or invest in Florida rental property for the residual income, Florida is a great place to invest your money.

Compared to those in England, Florida’s average property prices and tax rates are simply a better value. For example, someone who buys a £500,000 second home will face a tax bill of £30,000. See the tables below for more examples of annual savings on Florida rental property compared to England buy-to-let property.

Annual Savings on Florida Property Taxes vs. UK Stamp Duty after April 2016

Home Price London/York Miami (2.6%) Total Annual Savings
$226,500 (£150,000) $7,550 (£5,000) $5,889 $1,661
$302,000 (£200,000) $11,325 (£7,500) $7,852 $3,473
$377,500 (£250,000) $15,100 (£10,000) $9,815 $5,285
$453,000 (£300,000) $21,140 (£14,000) $11,778 $9,362
$755,000 (£500,000) $45,300 (£30,000) $19,630 $25,670
$906,000 (£600,000) $57,380 (£38,000) $23,556 $33,824

Even the highest property tax rate in Miami of 2.6% is lower than the lowest stamp duty rate in the U.K.

Home Price London/York Orlando (1.16%) Total Savings
$226,500 (£150,000) $7,550 (£5,000) $2627 4,923
$302,000 (£200,000) $11,325 (£7,500) $3,503 $7,822
$377,500 (£250,000) $15,100 (£10,000) $4,379 $10,721
$453,000 (£300,000) $21,140 (£14,000) $5,255 $15,885
$755,000 (£500,000) $45,300 (£30,000) $8,758 $36,542
$906,000 (£600,000) $57,380 (£38,000) $10,510 $46,870

You save over $45,000 per year on your Orlando rental homes assessed at $906,000, even if you’re taxed at Orlando’s highest rate of 1.16%.

Here is a helpful comparison of home prices and tax rates in Florida versus those in the UK.

Florida Price Single Family Homes vs. UK Detached Homes

London Miami Orlando Total Savings
Median Sale Price of Home $760,181 (£503,431) $280,000 $204,000 $480,181-556,181
York Miami Orlando Total Savings
Median Sale Price of Home ($) $313,419 (£207,562) $280,000 $204,000 $33,419-109,419

England Stamp Duty vs. Florida Property Tax Rates

England (before April 2016) England (after April 2016) Miami Orlando
Up to £125,000 Zero 3% 1.63-2.6% 1.02-1.16%
The next £125,000 2% 5% 1.63-2.6% 1.02-1.16%
The next £675,000 5% 8% 1.63-2.6% 1.02-1.16%
The next £575,000 10% 13% 1.63-2.6% 1.02-1.16%
Remaining portion above £1.5 million 12% 15%  1.63-2.6% 1.02-1.16%

If you are a foreign individual, and you are either buying or selling a Florida property, then the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA) likely applies to you. It is ultimately the buyer’s responsibility to ensure the FIRPTA real estate transaction is properly conducted. If you’re a buyer, or own a company that purchases property, hire an attorney who specializes in international real estate transactions. The FIRPTA requirements and new Florida property closing procedure has left very few qualified Florida real estate attorneys.

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