4. Other than the penalties imposed for late stamping, what are the consequences if I fail to stamp a document on which stamp duty is charged?
No document chargeable with stamp duty shall be received in evidence in any legal proceedings except:
- criminal proceedings,
- civil proceedings by the Collector to recover stamp duty or any penalty payable under the Stamp Duty Ordinance,
or be available for any other purpose whatsoever, unless such instrument is duly stamped.
For example, if you entered into a Tenancy Agreement with somebody and you want to sue your tenant for rental arrears (or to enforce other obligations under the Agreement), the count may not accept such agreement as valid evidence if it is not duly stamped. The only situation under which an unstamped document will be accepted by the court is that the court orders the solicitor to personally undertake to cause:
- such document to be stamped in respect of the stamp duty chargeable thereon, and
- any penalty payable under section 9 of the Stamp Duty Ordinance (refer to the above Question 3) in respect thereof to be paid.