Stamp Duty on land transfers before December 2003

How to deal with a property or land transfer that started before 10 July 2003 and was completed after 1 December 2003.

You usually pay Stamp Duty Land Tax when you buy land or property, or take on a lease.

Stamp Duty may also be payable on the transfer document if you entered into a contract to transfer land before 10 July 2003 that was not completed until after 1 December 2003.

New Stamp Duty processes were introduced on 25 March 2020. Where Stamp Duty is paid on a property or land transfer form since then, that instrument is duly stamped for all purposes. You do not need to resubmit any documents to be stamped under the previous physical stamping system.

Notifying HMRC

  1. The form must be fully completed, signed and dated, using power of attorney if necessary. We will accept e-signatures.

  2. Send your notification to

If you cannot get your transfer documents signed and dated, email the Stamp Duty mailbox.

If you have not submitted a Stamp Duty notification by email before

You should be aware and accept that there are risks in using email:

  • emails sent over the internet or other insecure network may be intercepted
  • an unencrypted email can be intercepted, read and altered
  • it cannot be guaranteed that an unencrypted email received over an insecure network has not been altered
  • phishing, impersonation and malware could contain malicious code
  • an email sent over the internet may never arrive, and neither the sender or recipient may be aware of this

You can find more general information on our data protection and policy procedures in the HMRC Privacy Notice.

If you cannot notify us by email

You may post a copy of the transfer documents to:

BT - Stamp Duty
HM Revenue and Customs
United Kingdom

Couriers should use a different address. You must not post original forms to these addresses, as we will not keep or return them to you.

You must include your contact details when submitting by post.

You’ll need to apply to us to get your transfer, conveyance or lease documents processed if the transfer document either:

  • was executed before 1 December 2003
  • is from a contract that was entered into before 10 July 2003
  1. You’ll also need to pay us any Stamp Duty payment that’s due

  2. Send your payment reference when you’ve paid the duty online.

You will not be able to use the transfer document for any legal purpose, including registering the property with the HM Land Registry unless we have processed it and confirmed that you’ve paid any Stamp Duty that’s due.

Documents to send HMRC

You must send the documents you used for the purchase, transfer or lease of the land to HMRC Stamp Taxes within 30 days of the date of execution. The documents you need to send depends on the type of transaction.

If submitting by post, you must not post original forms to us, as we will not retain or return them to you.

The date of execution is normally the date you signed the document. In the case of a lease, it’s the lease date.

You’ll need to include:

  • the name and email address of the person the documents should be returned to (this might not be the same as the person sending them)
  • your payment reference number (the payment reference number is the one that you’ve generated or chosen yourself)
  • a fully completed, signed and dated L(A)451 form, using power of attorney if necessary – L(A) 451 forms can be requested from the HMRC mailbox if you do not have one

You can usually expect us to deal with your transfer documents within 5 days of receiving them.

Transfers and conveyances

If your transaction is a transfer or conveyance, you’ll need to send:

  • the document used for the transfer or conveyance to be stamped - this could be form TR1, the HM Land Registry form for transferring the title of the property
  • a copy of the contract showing the date of the transfer
  • a completed form Stamps L(A) 451 available from HMRC Stamp Taxes


If your transaction involves a lease, you’ll need to send:

  • the lease agreement (in Scotland this is called the Missives of Let)
  • the document showing the assignment of the lease
  • a completed form Stamps L(A) 451 available from HMRC Stamp Taxes

Make a payment

You must pay the correct amount of Stamp Duty when you send your documents to be stamped.

The amount of Stamp Duty you’ll have to pay depends on the rate of duty that applied on the date the document was executed.

If you need support with the payment you can either:

Penalties and interest

You may need to pay a penalty or interest if you do not notify us and pay Stamp Duty that’s due within 30 days of the date of execution.

For transfers and conveyances, the date of execution is normally the date the document is signed. For leases, it’s the date of the lease.

Claim Stamp Duty relief

You may be able to claim Stamp Duty relief when:

  • the transfer is between related companies
  • the transfer or lease is to a charity or organisation that’s been set up for a charitable purpose, like a school

After you’ve paid

  1. We’ll check your documents.

  2. Confirm we have received your payment.

  3. Send you a confirmation letter.

The letter we send will:

  • confirm receipt of Stamp Duty
  • detail the transactions we are confirming receipt for and the verification codes
  • confirm that the fully completed, signed and dated L(A)451 form has been submitted to us

When you submit your documents to HM Land Registry, you should include a copy of the letter with the documents.

Help and advice

If you’ve got any questions about Stamp Duty, you can email or call HMRC Stamp Taxes. If you email us, include in the subject line ‘Stamp Duty on Land before December 2003’.

You can also find information about Stamp Duty from the HM Land Registry.

Published 26 July 2013
Last updated 30 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. Stock transfer forms stamped under the new Stamp Duty procedures are confirmed to be ‘duly stamped’. Information about the risks of using email and an alternative postal address for notifications has been added.

  2. Information added on how to deal with Stamp Duty due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

  3. First published.