What does stamp duty apply to?
What does stamp duty apply to?

The following Tax practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What does stamp duty apply to?
  • HMRC guidance—Stamp Taxes on Shares Manual
  • Table outlining examples where stamp duty does and does not apply
  • Definitions
  • Distinction between UK and non-UK shares and debt
  • Definitions of stock, marketable security and debenture
  • The memorandum rule

FORTHCOMING CHANGE relating to the modernisation of stamp taxes on shares framework: The government is asking for views on the principles and design of a new framework for stamp duty and stamp duty reserve tax (SDRT) to inform a longer-term modernisation of the stamp taxes on shares (STS) framework. The call asks for views on what should be prioritised for modernisation including questions on amalgamating stamp duty with SDRT, the scope of stamp duty and SDRT, reporting and collecting STS and enforcement and payment of STS. The call follows a review and a report by the Office of Tax Simplification in 2017. The government envisages that it will consult further on specific policy and legislative changes with no major legislative redesign until Finance Bill 2021–22 at the earliest. The closing date for comments is 13 October 2020.

Subject to exemptions and reliefs, UK stamp duty applies to:

  1. instruments of transfer relating to stock or marketable securities (such as stock transfer forms)—for more information on the meaning of 'stock' and 'marketable securities', see: Definitions below

  2. instruments effecting a transfer of any interest in a partnership which holds stock or marketable securities, and

  3. certain bearer instruments when they are issued, and in certain circumstances, when they are transferred (this duty is known as bearer instrument duty), the details of which are outside the scope of this Practice

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