Compliance: stamp duty compliance miscellaneous: Denoting penalties and interest on documents
SA1891/S15(2) requires that any penalties and interest payable on stamping an instrument must be denoted by means of a particular stamp. If HMRC were to impress separate duty stamps for the stamp duty, the penalty and the interest on a document chargeable with all three, this would often result in a substantial number of stamps and it would be virtually impossible for the stamping officer to avoid covering some of the text of the document with duty stamps.
HMRC therefore denotes the total of any duty, interest and penalty by one set of duty stamps representing the total paid. If HMRC did not show how that total is broken down into duty, interest and penalty there would be difficulties should it become necessary to repay any of the duty on such a document.
So HMRC uses a hand held stamp which impresses a small grid on a document with spaces to write in the duty, interest, penalty and total payable. This is known as the DIPT stamp. HMRC only needs to impress stamps for the total amount. The breakdown of that amount is available for the future if required.
HMRC only impresses the DIPT stamp on a document if there is either interest or a penalty, or both, chargeable upon it. Documents presented on time together with payment of the correct duty should be marked in pencil in the normal way.
It is important to have a permanent record when the DIPT stamp is used, so entries in the grid on that stamp must be made in ink just before the document is stamped. But when HMRC is in dispute with the customer over the duty, interest or penalty due, the amounts are marked in light pencil until the dispute is settled and the document is ready to be stamped, whereupon the pencil markings are erased and replaced in ink.