Electronic signatures for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Stock Transfer Forms

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) electronic signatures for stamping stock transfer forms have been made permanent

The UK government is continuing to accelerate its digital transformation. Following the adoption of electronic signatures by HM Land Registry’s (HMLR) last year, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) recently confirmed that the new Stamp Duty processes introduced on 25th March 2020  and  include the use of electronic signature, now have permanent status.

The new procedure allows the stamp duty process to be completed online via email instead of the usual procedure where stock transfer forms were physically stamped using a specialised machine located at one of HMRC's offices. As part of the new procedure HMRC now accepts electronic signatures for stock transfer forms. 

Summary of the new procedure for stamp duty

Under the new procedure, the stamp duty process will be dealt with electronically, with correspondence via email and payments/repayments by bank transfer. HMRC will accept PDF copies of wet-ink instruments of transfer, or electronically executed instruments of transfer (i.e. instruments executed via e-signature). This process also applies to any supporting documents that need to be submitted as part of a stamp duty application, or application for stamp duty relief. Learn more about the various procedures and get full guidance  on GOV.UK

Government bodies are moving towards more digital

Local and national lockdowns, as well as the government's social distancing guidance further reinforced the inefficiencies and problems of relying solely on a physical stamping process, and demonstrated that it is possible to implement more efficient systems using modern digital transformation technologies, such as electronic signatures. 

The new HMRC procedures follow the acceptance of electronic signatures by HM Land Registry last year. 

This move towards digitisation by government bodies reinforces the belief that digital technologies, such as electronic signatures, provide greater efficiency,flexibility, and a better experience for many people and organisations in the UK when working with these government bodies. 

How can DocuSign help?

DocuSign provides solutions that allow you to electronically sign and witness agreements and other documents. 

Our solutions can help organisations align with HMRC and HM Land Registry guidelines, including the ability to electronically add and authenticate signers and witnesses.

We’ve recently collaborated with HMLR and leading law firms in the UK to refine our offering and launch a new eWitness with authentication feature. In fact, DocuSign eSignature was the first electronic signing platform to be used with the HMLR’s new witness electronic signature process. We’ve also been named Disruptive Technology of the Year at the 2021 Legal Week Innovation Awards for our work in helping to further digitise the land registry signature and witnessing process.

What’s next? 

We live in a world where change is constant and rapid. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the private, professional and regulatory sphere. McKinsey research has found that the pandemic has significantly accelerated the adoption of digital technologies by several years—the latest use of electronic signature use by HMRC and HM Land Registry are examples of how rapidly things are evolving and electronic signing is being broadly adopted.

We are honoured to be in a position where we can support our customers with this exciting new development. We are further energised by the opportunity to continue to collaborate with industry experts, leading UK law firms and the UK government, in continuing to further improve the digital experience in the UK.

For more information about how DocuSign eSignature can support electronic signature and electronic witnessing in the UK, including specifically with HM Land Registry deeds and HMRC stock transfer forms, or if you’d like to collaborate with DocuSign on our global efforts to help accelerate the world’s digital transformation, please contact us.