Guidance

Completing a stock transfer form

Find out how to complete a stock transfer form and get it stamped.

A stock transfer form transfers shares from one person to another.

If you use a stock transfer for to buy stocks and shares for £1,000 or less you do not normally have to pay any Stamp Duty.

Completing the form

When you complete a stock transfer form you need to give all the details of the sale including:

  • the shares being transferred (the quantity, class and type, for example 100 ordinary shares, ABC Limited)
  • the buyer
  • the seller

You also need to provide the value of what you paid for the shares in:

  • cash
  • other stock and shares
  • debt

This is known as the chargeable consideration.

Enter ‘Nil’ as the consideration if you do not give any consideration for the shares.

If you give consideration in money for the shares, state how much.

If you give consideration other than in money for the shares, state what you’ve given. For example, 100 ordinary shares in XYZ Limited, debt assumed £70,000.

If the transfer is exempt from Stamp Duty , or no chargeable consideration is given for the transfer, you need to complete one of the certificates on the back of the stock transfer form. You need to complete a different certificate depending on what you paid for the shares..

Certificate 1

You should complete certificate 1 if:

  • consideration you give for the shares is £1,000 or less
  • the transfer does not form part of a larger transaction or series of transactions where the total exceeds £1,000

Certificate 2

You should complete certificate 2 on the back of the form if:

  • the transfer is exempt from Stamp Duty, for example, transfers in connection with divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership
  • the consideration given is not chargeable consideration

No certificate needed

You do not need to fill in either certificate where no consideration is given for the shares or if you’re claiming a relief from Stamp Duty.

If you’re claiming a relief you’ll need to send the completed stock transfer form, together with details of the relief you’re claiming to HMRC for them to consider the relief claim.

How to get your form stamped

When you send the stock transfer form to HMRC, it must be fully completed, signed and dated. You must also include:

  • any agreement and supporting documents if HMRC has given a formal opinion or adjudication on how much Stamp Duty you should pay
  • a self-addressed envelope - size C4 for up to 4 documents or C3 for more than 4 documents for HMRC to return the stamped documents to you

The Stamp Duty must be paid before HMRC can send you the stamped stock transfer form. Any delays with your payment could hold up the stock transfer form being sent to you.

HMRC aims to deal with 80% of stock transfer forms within 15 working days of receiving them. You should allow 20 working days to give them time to be returned by post.

Get an opinion on the amount due

When you send your stock transfer documents to be stamped you must pay the correct amount of Stamp Duty, this may include penalties and interest payments.

If you’re not sure of the amount to pay you can ask HMRC for their opinion on the amount due.

Errors that cause delays

There are a number of reasons why HMRC may reject your application. The most common ones are the:

  • stock transfer form is not dated
  • Stamp Duty is not rounded up to the nearest £5 on each document
  • 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

What happens next

We’ll send your stamped form back to you. You must send it to the registrar of the company you’ve bought shares in along with the share certificate.

The address of the registrar is on the share certificate. The registrar will then issue you with your own share certificate.

Same day stamping service

The ‘same day’ stamping service is only available in exceptional circumstances, such as unexpected or unforeseen circumstances when it’s essential to have a document stamped immediately.

You cannot use the ‘same day’ service if the urgency could have been avoided by:

  • either party
  • their respective agents

You will not be able to use the ‘same day’ stamping service if the law requires you to apply to HMRC for a decision known as adjudication prior to stamping, such as when a relief is being claimed.

HMRC expects the number of occasions when ‘same day’ stamping service is required to be minimal.

If you become aware that a transaction may need a stock transfer form stamped at short notice, you should write to the Stamp Duty team giving as much detail as possible, including the:

  • number of stock transfer forms to be stamped
  • specific reason or reasons for the request
  • amount of Stamp Duty

In exceptional circumstances a request for the ‘same day’ stamping service can be made by contacting the stocks and shares ‘same day’ stamping service.

Reliefs and exemptions

There are some share transactions that qualify for reliefs or exemptions. They can reduce the amount of Stamp Duty you pay or are exempt from Stamp Duty altogether.

Refunds

If you pay too much Stamp Duty on a transaction you may be able to claim a refund.

Refunds must be claimed within 2 years of the date of the stamped document. If the document is undated, a refund can be claimed within 2 years of first execution.

Send your request in writing to Birmingham Stamp Office saying why you think a refund is due and provide the:

  • original stamped document
  • names of the parties involved

The Stamp Office will write to you if they need more information to support your claim.

If your refund is agreed, the Stamp Duty will be repaid, usually with interest, from the date the tax was paid.

CHAPS refunds

If the refunds you’re applying for is £150,000 or more you can ask for payment by CHAPS electronic transfer. You’ll need to include your bank details with your claim.

UK shares bought from abroad

If you buy shares in a UK company while you’re abroad, you still have to pay Stamp Duty, and get the transfer documents stamped. If you do not do this within the time limits you may have to pay a penalty and interest.

If you buy foreign shares you do not have to pay Stamp Duty. If however you bring a document which transfers shares into the UK there could be a charge to Stamp Duty. There may be other foreign taxes to pay.

Further Information

If you need any help with working out if you have to pay Stamp Duty contact HMRC Stamp Taxes Helpline.

Published 24 June 2014