Stamp duty has been in force since the seventeenth century and is imposed at various rates upon specified categories of instrument. An 'instrument' includes every written document1, and liability to stamp duty arises at the moment when an instrument of a kind which attracts a charge is executed2. It has been said that stamp duty is payable on documents, not transactions3. Stamp duty is now imposed only on instruments relating to stock or marketable securities4 and instruments transferring interests in partnerships holding stock or marketable securities5, and is subject to a range of exemptions6.
Except where express provision is made
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