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COVID-19: Stamp Duty payments and stamping of documents

26th March 2020

COVID-19: Stamp Duty payments and stamping of documents
This article was last updated on 27 March at 09:39.

HMRC has put in place temporary processes for dealing with Stamp Duty on shares during the COVID-19 outbreak

For the time being, share transfer and purchase of own shares documents as well as Stamp Duty payments are being processed only electronically. HMRC is currently unable to process paper documents or cheque payments and these should not be sent to the Stamping Office by post. Any documents or duty payments by cheque that have already been posted to HMRC should be resubmitted electronically.

To avoid delays in the processing of your documents, it is recommended to first arrange electronic payment of Stamp Duty and to confirm your payment reference in the email sending the documents to HMRC.

Pay Stamp Duty electronically

HMRC is asking that Stamp Duty be paid only by BACS or CHAPS or via Faster Payment option for online banking transfers. HMRC will not process documents unless duty has been paid in full and it is important to accept any banking charges for faster payments when arranging payment by bank transfer.  

The deadline for paying Stamp Duty on shares has not changed. It is still 30 days from the date when the stock transfer form (or other transfer instrument) was signed and dated. Late payments may incur a penalty or interest charge or both. When making arrangements to pay the Stamp Duty, consider whether the 30 days deadline falls on a weekend on bank holiday and ensure that the payment reaches HMRC on the last working day before the deadline. BACS payments can take up to 3 working days to clear.

Email documents to HMRC

HMRC is not stamping paper documents for the time being. Documents that require stamping should be sent to HMRC in electronic copy by email to stampdutymailbox@hmrc.gov.uk  Ensure that the documents are properly completed, signed and dated before they are sent. Whilst the coronavirus measures are in place, HMRC will accept e-signatures. If there is a reason why it is not possible to arrange the signing and dating of the documents, you should email stampdutymailbox@hmrc.gov.uk to seek further guidance.

Documents submitted electronically will be assessed and HMRC will respond by email within 20 working days.

These changes in HMRC’s processes are likely to be updated in the coming days. We will update this page as soon as we know more. More details about the current guidance can be found on HMRC’s website here

If you have any queries or require any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact your usual haysmacintyre contact or email CV19@haysmacintyre.com.

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