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Taxation - Hong Kong


Hong Kong Limited Company – e-Stamping of Share Transfer Document

Q: What is the difference between electronic stamping (“e-Stamping”) and traditional stamping? What are the advantages?
A: Traditional stamping is a manual process with the imprinting of stamp on original share transfer documents from Stamp Office physically in Hong Kong. e-Stamping is an alternative mode of stamping which can use the e-Stamping service via online to complete stamping and get the stamp certificate instantly.

Is it still require preparing share transfer document (i.e. Instrument of Transfer and Bought & Sold Note) for e-Stamping?
A: Yes, although no share transfer document needs to be uploaded to e-Stamping system, the executed share transfer document is still required. Kaizen can provide services of transfer of share including document preparation and filing of e-Stamping.

What can I get after the share transfer document be stamped electronically?
An e-Stamping application can be submitted via the Internet instead of presenting the original share transfer documents to the Stamp Office. After payment of stamp duty, a stamp certificate will be issued and the same must be attached to the share transfer documents as evidence of stamping. Each share transfer documents will have a unique “Instrument Reference Number” and each stamp certificate will have its own “Stamp Certificate Number”.

What are the conditions for using e-Stamping?
Here are 6 major conditions for using e-Stamping:
1. The share(s) is/are owned by not more than 4 jointly-owned transferors;
2. The share(s) is/are transferred to not more than 4 jointly-owned transferees;
3. The share transfer involves the transfer of the full beneficial ownership;
4. A maximum of 2 duplicates can be stamped for each instrument;
5. If value of share(s) or consideration in foreign currency, it requires to convert the share values to their equivalents in Hong Kong dollars; and
6. Late stamping not exceeding 4 years with no request for remission of penalty.

If the company does not prepare any accounts or consolidated financial statements, can I submit the share transfer via e-Stamping?
No. The requested documents are same for e-Stamping and traditional stamping. Therefore, company’s account is still required to prepare if commenced business. Company is allowed to provide accounts separately for the Company and its subsidiaries instead of consolidated financial statements if there are subsidiaries.

Can I apply e-Stamping for the document of declaration of trust, nominee agreement or sales and purchase agreement?
A: No. If you want to stamp on a declaration of trust, nominee agreement or sales and purchase agreement, those require to be stamped by traditional stamping at the Stamp Office.