United Kingdom to Remove 1.5% Stamp Duty and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax on Transfers Integral to Capital Raising
The United Kingdom's tax authority, His Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), has published draft legislation to amend the stamp duty and stamp duty reserve tax (SDRT) legislation by removing the 1.5% charge on the issue of UK securities into depositary receipt systems and clearance services and on some related transfers (known as "transfers integral to capital raising"). It will also remove the 1.5% (or 0.2%) charge on the issue of bearer instruments.
HMRC had recognized that these 1.5% charges were incompatible with the Capital Duty Directive following the 2009 decision of the European Court of Justice in HSBC Holdings PLC and Vidacos Nominees Ltd v Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs and the 2012 decision of the United Kingdom's First-Tier Tribunal in HSBC Holdings PLC and the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation v Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs. However, because taxpayers could rely on the direct effect of EU law, no attempt was made to collect the 1.5% duty. Following Brexit, the effect of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 means that it is now necessary for the government to legislate the 0% charge and this will have effect from 1 January 2024.
The 1.5% charge is contained in:
- section 131 of Finance Act 1976;
- section 126 of Finance Act 1984;
- sections 67 to 72A of Finance Act 1986;
- section 79 of Finance Act 1986;
- sections 93 to 97C of Finance Act 1986;
- section 50 of Finance Act 1987;
- section 143 of Finance Act 1988; and
- schedule 15 of Finance Act 1999.
The legislation will also make consequential changes, including in respect of an anti-avoidance provision which was introduced after the 2009 court decision, but which became redundant following the 2012 court decision.