Do I Qualify As First Time Buyer For Stamp Duty Purposes?

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I am buying my first home and was delighted when the Budget revealed a stamp duty cut for first-time buyers up to £300,000.

I initially thought that this would save me and my boyfriend £5,000, but then saw that I don't qualify, as although I think of myself as a first-time buyer and don't own a property now, I did briefly own one about seven years ago that I sold at a loss and have been renting ever since.

My boyfriend has never owned a property before and we are buying together, so do we qualify as first-time buyers as a couple?

If we don't qualify we will do the honest thing and pay up, but if someone didn't own up that they weren't a first-time buyer and didn't own a property now, how would they get caught out?

Stamp duty: Can I avoid paying the tax by not declaring that I was once a homeowner? 

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