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HMRC internal manual

Stamp Taxes on Shares Manual

Bearer instruments: procedures for denoting and stamping bearer instruments: Stamp Taxes checklist

  • Stamps B1.1 (HMRC website) form should be completed by the company making the issue or by the person acting as the agent of the company for the purposes of the issue.
  • The serial numbers and description of the bearer instrument received must match the information provided in the Stamps BI.1 form.
  • Ensure all relevant numbered points on the Stamps B1.1 (HMRC website) form have been completed and the certificate signed and dated.
  • Confirm that an original bearer instrument has been received, accompanied by a cancelled specimen of the bearer instrument to be issued.
  • A copy of any prospectus associated with the bearer issue, and a copy of any relevant offer for sale, advertisement or other statement published in connection with the issue, has been provided.

If, and only if, Stamp Taxes is satisfied with all the information provided in support of the issue of the bearer security, is the original bearer instrument to be impressed with a stamp denoting that it has been produced to HM Revenue & Customs - Stamp Taxes.

  • The Stamps BI.1 form is date stamped by Stamp Taxes when the bearer instrument denoting stamp has been impressed.
  • The stamped bearer instrument is to be returned by second class post to the original sender.
  • The original Stamps BI.1 form, along with the specimen bearer instrument (and other documentary evidence received) is to be retained in Stamp Taxes.**

** Following the decisions by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in October 2009 in the case of HSBC Holdings PLC and Vidacos Nominees Ltd v Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs (C569/07), and the First-Tier Tribunal [Tax Chamber] (FTT) in March 2012 in the case of HSBC Holdings PLC and the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation v Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs (TC/2009/16584), HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) accepts that where shares and, by extension, bearer shares in a United Kingdom (UK) incorporated company are issued, the imposition of a 1.5 per cent stamp charge is incompatible with European Union law.

In these circumstances and until such time as the provisions of FA99/SCH15/PARA1 are amended, HMRC will not seek to collect 1.5 per cent stamp duty on the issue of a bearer instrument.

Moreover, completion of a Stamps BI.2 form along with a remittance of stamp duty that would otherwise have been due under FA99/SCH15/PARA21(4), is no longer required.