The new system for electronic conveyancing came one step closer today as the Government announced the introduction of legislation in the next Finance Bill to modernise the stamp duty rules to deal with electronic transfers of land and buildings.
The Electronic Communications Act, which came into force earlier this year, will remove the need for transactions in land and buildings to be on paper.
change will help to modernise the tax system and underlines the Governments
firm commitment to removing legislative barriers to electronic dealings
The Stamp Duty charge on land transactions currently depends on the existence of paper documents. Under the Electronic Communications Act, the legal requirement for certain transactions to be on paper will be removed. In parallel with developments by the Land Registries of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, this means that it will be possible for land to be transferred electronically.
Stamp Duty Reserve Tax, which applies to shares, is already accounted for and collected electronically and provides a recent precedent for modernising Stamp Duty on land and buildings.
As part of the design process for the modernised legislation the Inland Revenue intends to set up a Technical Advisory Group (TAG). The TAG will consist of representatives from the Revenue, other government departments and external organisations. With the assistance of the TAG it is intended that draft clauses will be published before Budget 2001 to allow time for detailed comment before the Finance Bill.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
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