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Stamp Duty and Covid-19

HMRC have introduced new temporary, emergency processes around stamping documents as a result of coronavirus measures, which new processes will remain in force until these measures end – although it is not clear at this stage what is meant by that.

What it does mean is that with immediate effect HMRC will not be physically stamping documents and the new processes, summarised below, should be used instead.

Key points to note:

• If you have recently sent a stock transfer (or other instrument) to HMRC for stamping and are yet to hear back from them, then you are advised to resubmit the document electronically under the process described below.

• All stamping applications should now be sent to HMRC by email, enclosing soft copies of the document(s) to be stamped.

• Stamp duty must be paid in advance and by electronic means – cheques will not be banked until the current measures end.

• Registers should not be written up until HMRC reply (by email) confirming all is in order.

Hard copy stamping applications sent to HMRC during this time will not be processed. Instead an electronic copy of the document to be stamped should be sent to HMRC (mailto:stampdutymailbox@hmrc.gov.uk) together with a description of the transaction and any supporting documents.

All documents must be fully completed, signed and dated, but HMRC have confirmed that during this period they will accept the use of e-signatures.

Payment of the stamp duty must be made – by electronic means – before the application is submitted. HMRC have confirmed that if a payment by cheque is sent to them it will not be banked until after the current measures end and so the relevant application will not be processed until that time either.

Once an emailed stamping application is processed and if everything is in order, HMRC will reply with a letter (sent by email) confirming the transaction they have reviewed and receipt of the relevant stamp duty payment, together with confirmation that they will not pursue any penalties if the registers are written up to reflect that transfer. It is at that point that the transfer can safely be written up into the books of the company.

It is understood (although not yet confirmed in HMRC’s guidance) that after these measures are lifted and if the parties wish, they can later apply for a physical stamp on a document that was submitted electronically during this period without further cost or penalty.

More information around these processes can be found on HMRC’s website here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/st... and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pa...


Posted on 27/05/2020 in Tax News, Tax and Covid-19, Stamp Duty

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