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Coronavirus: Changes to Stamp Duty

Silence of the stamps

An emergency set of processes has been introduced which will allow HMRC to continue dealing with Stamp Duty for the duration of this emergency period. 

Where appropriate, the replacement process will provide assurances that HMRC won’t levy penalties on company registrars who go ahead and register changes in ownership; HMRC have also vowed to not levy penalties on customers who subsequently send physical documents for stamping once we are out of the current crisis period.

All stamp duty must, for the time being, be paid electronically, where payment is needed.

New guidance can be found on Gov.UK, on the Completing a Stock Transfer Form page, and on the Paying Stamp Duty page.  This is initial guidance only which has been drafted quickly to allow HMRC to provide some reassurance. The guidance will be updated over the coming days to also include recommend a procedure to deal with adjudication applications.

If you have any queries regarding Stamp Duty, specialist tax lawyer John Feaster will be able to advise you. Call 01275 350 819 or email

Stamp Duty is the oldest tax administered by HMRC, having been introduced in 1694 by King William of Orange. He introduced Stamp duty as a form of tax charged on legal instruments (written documents) and required a physical stamp to be attached to or impressed upon the document in question. It now applies only to transactions involving shares and marketable securities.

"All stamp duty must, for the time being, be paid electronically, where payment is needed".


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John Feaster


John Feaster, LLB, CTA, TEP is taxation partner. He qualified as a tax lawyer with Eversheds LLP specialising…

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