An extra 2% will be added to all residential rates of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) including the current 3% ‘additional homes’ surcharge where a non-UK buyer purchases residential property in England. The surcharge will take effect from 1 April 2021.
The surcharge applies to non-resident individuals, as well as companies, trusts etc.
There are some "excluded transactions" …
The residence of an individual for the purposes of the surcharge is not determined by the statutory residence test, that is used for other tax purposes. An individual is resident if they have been in the UK for at least 183 days in a 365 day period, within which the date of purchase falls.
If the purchase is made jointly with a spouse or civil partner (who are co-habiting), only one of the purchasers needs to be the UK resident for the charge not to apply. There is a specific exemption from the charge for Crown employees and their cohabiting spouses.
If the residence test has not been met at the point of sale, the surcharge must be paid; but where the test is subsequently met, the individual will have two years from the date of purchase to amend their SDLT return to reclaim the surcharge.
Joint purchasers who are not married or in a civil partnership, as referred to above, must all be UK resident for the charge not to apply.