Stamp Duty


DEFINITION of 'Stamp Duty'

The tax placed on legal documents usually in the transfer of assets or property. This duty is customary in the Commonwealth of Nation countries including Singapore and Australia and certain states in the United States. Where enforced, this tax is placed on the transfer of homes, buildings, copyrights, land, patents and securities. The transfer of documents in locations where this law exists, is only legally enforceable once they are stamped, which shows the amount of tax paid. Also referred to as stamp tax.


Historical background indicates that stamp duty was initiated when the Stamp Act of the British Parliament was passed in 1765. The tax was imposed on American colonists who were required to pay tax on all printed paper, for example licenses, newspapers, a ship's papers or legal documents. At the time, funds collected from stamp duties were used to pay for positioning troops in certain locations of America.

  1. Tax Deed

    A legal document that grants ownership of a property to a government ...
  2. Mill Rate

    The amount of tax payable per dollar of the assessed value of ...
  3. Assessed Value

    The dollar value assigned to a property for purposes of measuring ...
  4. Duty

    1. A tax levied on certain goods, services or transactions. Duties ...
  5. Ad Valorem Tax

    A tax based on the assessed value of real estate or personal ...
  6. Millage Rate

    The amount per $1,000 that is used to calculate taxes on property. ...
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    The Top 10 Caribbean Tax Havens

    Discover relevant tax policy information about the top 10 tax havens located in the Caribbean, including the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas.
  2. Insurance

    Municipal Bond Tips For The Series 7 Exam

    Learn to distinguish between general obligation and revenue bonds to ace this test.
  3. Retirement

    Tax Tips For The Individual Investor

    We give you seven guidelines to help you keep more of your money in your pocket.
  4. Retirement

    Avoiding Too Much Tax On Your Distributions

    IRA assets can't be taxed twice - find out how to avoid paying the second time around.
  5. Personal Finance

    Pros And Cons Of Offshore Investing

    Tax loopholes are shrinking, but there are still plenty of viable prospects. Get the big picture.
  6. Economics

    Economic Meltdowns: Let Them Burn Or Stamp Them Out?

    Whether the Fed should intervene in market bubbles is up for debate. Learn about both sides here.
  7. Retirement

    Cut Your Tax Bill

    Paying your bills early or giving an extra donation now can help you come tax time.
  8. Investing

    Latin America’s Economic Forecast

    After a ten-year run, the economies of Latin America are in a decline. For sustainable, long-term growth, the region needs structural reforms.
  9. Economics

    Why the Euro Failed to Become the World's Reserve Currency

    Examine the current state of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency; learn the major reasons why the euro has failed to replace it in that capacity.
  10. Economics

    The 4 Countries That Produce the Most Food

    Learn about the four food superpowers -- China, India, the United States and Brazil -- and what sets them apart from the rest of the world.
  1. When do I need a letter of credit?

    A letter of credit, sometimes referred to as a documentary credit, acts as a promissory note from a financial institution, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. When has the United States run its largest trade deficits?

    In macroeconomics, balance of trade is one of the leading economic metrics that determines the trading relationship of a ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Which is more important to a nation's economy, the balance of trade or the balance ...

    There is no question the composition of a country's balance of payments is more important than its balance of trade. This ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between cost and freight (CFR) and cost, insurance and freight ...

    The difference between cost and freight (CFR) and cost, insurance and freight (CIF) is essentially the requirement under ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between Cost and Freight (CFR) and Free on Board (FOB)?

    The difference between cost and freight (CFR) and free on board (FOB) lies in who has responsibility for various shipping ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are the ethical arguments against government subsidies to companies like Tesla?

    The ethical argument behind government subsidies is that they should be put into place to help industries that will, in turn, ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  2. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  3. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  4. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  5. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  6. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!