COVID-19: Temporary measures to process stock transfer forms, SH03 forms and stamp duty payments

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26 March, 2020

Nick Pickup

In response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, HMRC have now imposed measures to stop the spreading of the virus. HMRC have currently suspended the stamping of stock transfer forms along with the payment of stamp duty by post.

Stock transfer forms should now be in the form of an electronic version and sent by email and all payments for stamp duty should now be paid using Faster Payment, BACS or CHAPS. The form and details of the payment should be emailed to the HMRC on

SH03 forms to notify the HMRC of a company's purchase of its own shares is also required to be delivered electronically via email to

The stock transfer form must be fully completed, signed and dated; however, it is useful to know that HMRC are currently accepting e-signatures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are unable to obtain a signature it is advised that you email Supporting documents will also need to be included in an electronic version to the aforementioned email.

What to do if you have already sent the stock transfer form by post

If you have already sent the stock transfer forms along with the accompanying payment of stamp duty by post, then you should resubmit the forms electronically and provide details of any payment you have made in respect to the transaction. These details include the reference number and the amount paid into to the Stamp Office bank account, the bank account details can be found here.

Any forms submitted by post and payments by cheque will not be banked or dealt with until the COVID-19 measures have ended. Due to the current uncertainty of the length of this pandemic, it is advised you resubmit any forms and stamp duty payments online (via Faster Payment, BACS or CHAPS) that you have sent to the Stamp Office in the last two weeks, to avoid any disruption or potential penalties for late payment.

What will I receive in return?

Stock transfer forms are currently not being stamped, rather the HMRC are sending an email attaching a letter which includes the following information:

  • confirmation on receipt of the stamp duty payment;
  • setting out the particulars of the transaction for which the stamp duty is being paid and the relevant reference codes will be detailed; and
  • further confirmation that the HMRC will not pursue a penalty against the Registrar for registering the new ownership of the shares.

The current restrictions are due to last until the COVID-19 pandemic has ended, for more information, please visit the HMRC website here.

Our corporate team are on hand to provide advice on calculating stamp duty, or if you are unsure on which forms to use or require general advice relating to the above.

For more information contact Nick Pickup in our Corporate department via email or phone on 0333 207 1132. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Learn more about our Corporate department here

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