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Stamp duty: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stamp duty is a tax that is levied on documents. Historically, this included the majority of legal documents such as: cheques; receipts; military commissions; marriage licences; land transactions; etc. A physical stamp (a tax stamp) had to be attached to or impressed upon the document to denote that stamp duty had been paid before the document was legally effective. More modern versions of the tax no longer require a physical stamp.



The federal government of Australia does not levy stamp duty. However, stamp duty is levied by the states on various instruments (i.e., written documents) and transactions. The rates of stamp duty vary from State to State, as do the nature of the instruments or transactions subject to duty. Some jurisdictions no longer require a physical document to attract what is now often referred to as "transaction duty."

Major forms of duty include the transfer duty on the sale of land, businesses, shares and other forms of dutiable property; mortgage duty; lease duty and duty on the hire of goods. Rebates or exemptions are available from transfer duty and mortgage duty for those purchasing their first home.

On 20 April 2005, the Treasurers of various States or Territories announced that they would phase out a number of duties over the following five (5) years. However, duty on land ownership transfers would remain.

Hong Kong

According to Schedule 1 of Hong Kong Stamp Duty Ordinance Cap.117 (SDO), Stamp duty applies to some legal binding documents as classified into 4 heads:

  • Head 1: All sale or lease transactions in Hong Kong immovable property.
  • Head 2: The transfer of Hong Kong Stock.
  • Head 3: All Hong Kong bearer instruments.
  • Head 4: Any duplicates and counterparts of the above documents.

One of examples is shares of companies which are either incorporated in Hong Kong or listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Other than the said shares, HK Stock is defined as shares and marketable securities, units in unit trusts, and rights to subscribe for or to be allotted stock. Stamp duty on a conveyance on sale of land is charged at progressive rates ranging from 0.75% to 3.75% of the amount of consideration. The maximum rate of 3.75% applies where the consideration exceeds HK$6 million.



From 1998, stamp duty in Singapore only applies to documents relating to immovable property, stocks and shares. Purchases of Singapore property or shares traded on the Singapore Exchange, are subject to stamp duty.

Applicable rates and more information can be obtained from Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore. Legislation covering Singapore Stamp Duties are found in the Stamp Duties Act.[1]


Stamp duty is charged on various items including (but not limited to)

United Kingdom

The scope of the United Kingdom's stamp duty has been reduced dramatically in recent years. Apart from transfers of shares and securities, the issue of bearer instruments and certain transactions involving partnerships, stamp duty was largely abolished in the UK from 1 December 2003. "Stamp duty land tax" (SDLT), a new transfer tax derived from stamp duty, was introduced for land and property transactions from 1 December 2003. SDLT is not a stamp duty, but a form of self-assessed transfer tax charged on "land transactions". "Stamp duty reserve tax" (SDRT) was introduced on agreements to transfer certain shares and other securities in 1986.

On the September 2, 2008, the British Government announced that all stamp duty placed on houses under the £175,000 price mark would be stopped for one calendar year. Buyers could save a potential £1,750 if eligible.

United States

Although the federal government formerly imposed various documentary stamp taxes on deeds, notes and other transactional documents, in modern times such taxes are only imposed by states. Typically when real estate is transferred or sold, a real estate transfer tax will be collected at the time of registration of the deed in the public records. In addition, many states impose a tax on mortgages or other instruments securing loans against real property. This tax, known variously as a mortgage tax, intangibles tax, or documentary stamp tax, is also usually collected at the time of registration of the mortgage or deed of trust with the recording authority.


The swedish government applies a 1.5% stamp duty on the purchase value of a property.


  1. ^ Stamp Duties Act (Cap. 312)


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