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HMRC internal manual

Stamp Taxes on Shares Manual

Introduction to Stamp Duty on shares and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT): Stamp duty - payment and penalties: Refusal of an unstamped document

If a Registrar has reason to think that a document should have been stamped, he is fully entitled to refuse to act on it. SA1891/S17 makes it an offence to enrol, register or enter in any rolls books or records on the basis on any instrument that should have been stamped but has not been stamped or is insufficiently stamped. The penalty for doing so is £300 for each offence.

If a company registrar believes that a document is chargeable with stamp duty but has been incorrectly or insufficiently stamped, the correct course to follow is to ask the person submitting the document for registration to have it formally adjudicated. The adjudication procedure is explained at STSM012020.

It is worth remembering that there are some instruments that do not need stamping; in particular those that fall within the Stamp Duties (Exempt Instruments) Regulations 1987 (SI1986/516); those for a consideration of £1000 or less which contain a £1000 certificate of value; and those that would have attracted fixed duty of £5 had they been executed prior to 13 March 2008.

If a relief from stamp duty is claimed and the legislation governing that relief (e.g. group relief, charity relief) requires adjudication then no action should be taken on the basis of a document that has not been adjudicated. A document that has been adjudicated as being not chargeable due to the availability of a relief will bear a stamp reading “Adjudged not chargeable with any duty”.

Any document that bears either that stamp or a stamp reading “Adjudged duly stamped” (the adjudication stamps) should be accepted and acted upon. The presence of either of these stamps is assurance that all stamp duty matters have been dealt with.