Q: Do I have to pay stamp duty if I buy my sister's share of the flat?

A: Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) can be payable in such transactions even if the property is co-owned by siblings. The amount will depend on the circumstances. If you don't own or have a beneficial ownership in another property and if the payment is less than the nil-rate band (up to £500,000) then, thanks to the recent temporary measures announced by the chancellor, there may not be SDLT payable. However, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) can also take into account a proportion of the existing mortgage on the property: if that exceeds the nil-rate band, you might still be liable to pay stamp duty even if you pay your sister nothing for her share in the flat.

Conveyancing partner Donall Murphy appears in The Sunday Times Home Help section answering a reader's question. 

Do I have to pay stamp duty if I buy my sister’s share of the flat? is available to read on The Sunday Times website via subscription. 

Donall is a partner in the conveyancing team. He advises both buyers and sellers in relation to freehold and leasehold transactions, dealing with many high value properties in prime locations.