HMRC issued guidance on Wednesday 25 March, that it has taken some temporary measures in relation to stamp duty as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Stamp duty is a tax charged on instruments transferring shares. This update does not affect Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) charged on land transactions.
- Stock transfer forms and other transfer instruments must now be sent by email to HMRC (to firstname.lastname@example.org) for processing and not by post. Those that have already sent forms or instruments by post should resubmit them electronically (providing details of any payments already made). If not, the instruments will not be assessed or returned until the temporary measures end. Our corporate team have spoken to HMRC and they were unable to tell us how far back people might have to resubmit stamp duty applications. They advised that if you haven’t received confirmation of stamp duty applications then these should be resubmited by email.
- HMRC will accept e-signatures on forms or instruments while this measure is in place. Those unable to get forms or instruments signed and dated should email HMRC.
- HMRC are not stamping documents at present but will instead send a letter by email confirming that stamp duty has been paid. Companies House clarified yesterday that they will accept an unstamped SH03 if it is accompanied by the confirmation letter from HMRC that stamp duty has been paid. The letter will not appear on the public register. Currently, Companies House are accepting postal applications and have not switched to email but this is being reviewed by Companies House.
- Payment of stamp duty must be made electronically (using Faster Payment, BACS or CHAPS) and details of the transaction must be sent to HMRC by email (at the address above) rather than by post. Payments by cheque will not be banked until the temporary measures end (so HMRC will not process the transaction even if it has received the details by email). Anyone unable to make electronic payments should email HMRC. Copies of stock transfer forms or transfer instruments submitted with transaction details must be electronic and, again, HMRC will accept e-signatures.
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