Technical briefing: Stamping stock transfer forms

Of interest to those working in companies

Due to measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, HMRC has introduced a new process for the payment of stamp duty in respect of stock transfer forms.

Stock transfer forms which require stamping or, in the case of purchase of own shares, Form SH03, should not be posted to HMRC but instead an electronic version of the form, for example a scanned pdf, should be emailed to stampdutymailbox@hmrc.gov.uk

The form must be fully completed, signed and dated (using power of attorney if necessary). HMRC will accept e-signatures while COVID-19 measures are in place. If you cannot get your stock transfer form or instrument of transfer signed and dated, you should email: stampdutymailbox@hmrc.gov.uk

Payment of stamp duty must be made electronically by Faster Payment, BACS or CHAPS. If you send HMRC payment by cheque it will not be banked until COVID-19 measures end. This means the transaction you have sent to HMRC by email will not be processed.

HMRC warn that if you have already posted your instruments you should resubmit your notification electronically and include the details of any payments you have made in respect of that notification. If you do not do this, your instruments will not be assessed or returned to you until the temporary COVID-19 measures end.

Helpfully, HMRC has also pointed out the most common reasons for rejected applications:

  • the stock transfer form is not dated
  • Stamp Duty is not rounded up to the nearest £5 on each document
  • the consideration value is not shown on the form – remember that if shares are given as consideration you’ll need to give the value of the shares

No stock transfer forms are currently being stamped by HMRC. Instead, once we have checked your form and confirmed we have received payment we will send you an email including a letter that will:

  • confirm receipt of Stamp Duty
  • detail the transactions we are confirming receipt for and the reference codes
  • give assurance that HMRC will not pursue a penalty against the Registrar for registering the new ownership of the shares

If you are submitting a form SH03 to Companies House, you should include a copy of the letter with the certificate.

The ‘same day’ stamping service is only available in exceptional circumstances, such as unexpected or unforeseen circumstances when it is essential to have a document stamped immediately. You must email requests for the ‘same day’ stamping service to: stampdutymailbox@hmrc.gov.uk

Applications to use the ‘same day’ stamping service will not be accepted if the urgency could reasonably have been avoided by either party or their respective agents.

The full HMRC guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/stamp-duty-on-shares and guidance on payment of stamp duty at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pay-stamp-duty#ways-to-pay

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