The brave new world of e-stamp­ing

It’s user-friendly, has­sle-free, gen­er­ates a unique ID num­ber and helps you eas­ily check the au­then­tic­ity of the doc­u­ment

HT Estates - - Front Page - Su­nil Tyagi

Stamp duty is a kind of tax which is re­quired to be paid to the gov­ern­ment. In transactions of im­mov­able prop­erty, the amount of stamp duty payable is cal­cu­lated on the mar­ket value of the prop­erty (as per the preva­lent circle rates) or on the ba­sis of the con­sid­er­a­tion amount of the prop­erty set out in the doc­u­ment, which­ever is higher. Some im­por­tant in­stru­ments per­tain­ing to im­mov­able prop­erty which re­quire to be com­pul­so­rily stamped are agree­ment to sell, sale deed, lease deed, gift deed, par­ti­tion deed, and set­tle­ment deed, to name a few.

In Delhi, phys­i­cal stamp pa­pers have been done away with and e-stamp­ing fa­cil­ity has been in­tro­duced. Es­tamp­ing is a com­puter based ap­pli­ca­tion and a se­cured way of pay­ing stamp duty to the gov­ern­ment. Ear­lier, e-stamp­ing in Delhi was com­pul­sory only for transactions where stamp duty was more than R500. Now the use of e- stamp pa­pers has be­come manda­tory for stamp duty of all de­nom­i­na­tions. Es­tamp­ing fa­cil­ity is cur­rently avail­able in Gu­jarat, Kar­nataka, Ma­ha­rash­tra, As­sam, Tamil Nadu, Ra­jasthan, Hi­machal Pradesh, to name a few.

To pay stamp duty, one can visit des­ig­nated ven­dors. Af­ter sub­mit­ting a duly filled and signed ap­pli­ca­tion form, the ven­dor will en­ter the de­tails into the sys­tem and a stamp cer­tifi­cate would be gen­er­ated im­me­di­ately in case of pay­ment by cash. In case the pay­ment of stamp duty is made via any other mode (eg, cheque, de­mand draft/pay or­der/RTGS), the stamp cer­tifi­cate would be gen­er­ated only af­ter re­al­i­sa­tion of funds. Upon pay­ment of the req­ui­site stamp duty, a unique iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber is gen­er­ated by the sys­tem which es­sen­tially acts as proof that stamp duty has been duly paid. If one wants to check the au­then­tic­ity of the e-stamp of any transac- tion, he/she can sim­ply en­ter the unique iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber on the of­fi­cial web­site of Stock Hold­ing Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia Lim­ited to ver­ify the same.

Stamp duty is re­quired to be paid ei­ther be­fore ex­e­cu­tion of the doc­u­ment or on the day of ex­e­cu­tion of the doc­u­ment. The In­dian Stamp Act, 1899, clearly states that it is the buyer’s li­a­bil­ity to pay stamp duty on sale transactions, un­less the par­ties mu­tu­ally agree oth­er­wise. Ad­e­quate stamp­ing and sub­se­quent reg­is­tra­tion, wher­ever re­quired, grants le­gal doc­u­ments the sta­tus of be­ing ad­mis­si­ble in ev­i­dence in courts. Cases where courts have re­ceived an in­stru­ment that is not duly stamped or reg­is­tered as ev­i­dence are few and far be­tween.

Of­ten, peo­ple er­ro­neously as­sume that doc­u­ments which do not re­quire com­pul­sory reg­is­tra­tion, also do not re­quire com­pul­sory stamp­ing. There are cer­tain doc­u­ments which are re­quired to be com­pul­so­rily stamped but may not re­quire to be com­pul­so­rily reg­is­tered. The con­se­quences of non-pay­ment and in­ad­e­quate pay­ment of stamp duty are harsh as it can lead to im­pound­ing of the doc­u­ment as well as at­tract a hefty penalty of upto ten times of the ap­pli­ca­ble stamp duty.

The shift to e-stamp­ing has nu­mer­ous ben­e­fits. Once an e-stamp is gen­er­ated, then it can­not be modi- fied in any man­ner. Es­tamp­ing can be done via se­cured elec­tronic pay­ment chan­nels – hence mal­prac­tices such as fraud­u­lent transactions and hoard­ing of stamp pa­pers will be sig­nif­i­cantly cur­tailed. As each e-stamp pa­per car­ries a unique iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber, it is eas­ier to check the au­then­tic­ity of the e-stamp cer­tifi­cate. E-stamp­ing is also quicker, more con­ve­nient and user friendly.

IMAGESBAZAAR

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