A new tax relief came into force in Scotland on 30th June that will help first-time buyers purchase their first home. 

The commitment to introduce a first-time buyer Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) relief was announced in the 18/19 draft budget.

According to Scottish Government figures, around 80% of first-time buyers will pay no tax now that the LBTT First Time Buyer relief has come into effect. The relief will have the effect of raising the zero tax LBTT threshold for first-time buyers from £145,000 to £175,000.

Those purchasing property at a higher value will have their tax reduced by £600, meaning that around 12,000 first-time buyers will benefit each year.

“Our progressive approach to the setting of LBTT rates and bands prioritises support for first-time buyers and helps others as they move through the market,” explained Minister designate for Public Finance and Digital Economy Kate Forbes.

“Alongside our shared equity schemes, the introduction of this new relief provides further support to first-time buyers and delivers on the commitment made by the Scottish Government as part of the 2018/19 Scottish budget,” she added.

Government figures show that over three quarters (76%) of those supported into homeownership by the Help to Buy (Scotland) and the LIFT (Low-Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers) schemes are young people aged 35 and under.

Recent figures also show that the number of young people aged 30 and under supported via Help to Buy (Scotland) increased from 50% to 55% in 2016/17.

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