Paying stamp duty while purchasing or transferring a property is often a long-drawn process. You need to go to the registrar’s office and await your turn, or seek a broker’s help to get the job done with minimum fuss.
But there is yet another way — e-stamping.
“It allows third-party verification, which is not possible in the other options. This feature lends e-stamping the maximum authenticity,” says Chintamani Joshi, DIG, computerisation, Department of Registration and Stamps, Maharashtra [ Images ].
Besides, the biggest limitation in case of other stamp vendors is that the amount of stamp duty they can accept in a day is limited. This is not the case with e-stamping.
At present, e-stamping is available in six states — Karnataka [ Images ], Maharashtra, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Delhi [ Images ] & National Capital Territory and Gujarat.
Stock Holding Corporation of India [ Images ] has been appointed as the central record-keeping agency responsible for implementation and maintenance of records for e-stamping.
However, within the states that have adopted e-stamping, availability is not uniform. For instance, in Delhi and NCT, e-stamping is mandatory for payment of stamp duty in excess of Rs 500. In Maharashtra, it is just another option available in a few districts.
In Tamil Nadu and Assam, it has been implemented on a pilot basis.
Generating an e-stamp
SHCIL has tied up with banks, which act as authorised collection centres for issuing e-stamps. You can approach any ACC and fill a form giving the details of the transaction.
The stamp duty can be paid in cash, cheque, demand draft, pay order, or national electronic funds transfer. If the payment is made by cheque or NEFT, the stamp certificate will be released only after SHCIL receives the money.
Once the payment is made, ACC uses the details to generate a preview copy of the e-stamp.
It is essential to check all the details in the preview copy, as cancellation attracts charges. Each state has its own policy for cancellation. Generally, about 10 per cent of the stamp duty paid is charged.
After checking the preview copy, you must sign and return it to the ACC official, who will then generate the final e-stamp. This certificate must be attached to the documents that are being registered.
According to an SHCIL spokesperson, e-stamping differs from franking due to two additional fields the applicants must fill in e-stamping — article number and property description.
The article number represents the transaction for which you are paying the duty. As for the property description, the address must be mentioned. For other agreements, a description of the transaction will suffice.
Besides these two heads, each e-stamp carries a unique identification number, critical for third-party verification.
Once the e-stamp is generated, anyone can verify the details by logging in and entering details like UIN, stamp duty type, certificate issue date and session code.
You can save costs by opting for e-stamping. For instance, at times, you may have to purchase a stamp paper of an excessive value if the exact denomination is unavailable.
Although the exact amount can be paid by franking, an additional charge is levied by banks for the service. If you opt for e-stamping, you have to pay only the stamp duty, without any additional charge.
However, e-stamping comes with a string attached. A duplicate copy of an e-stamp cannot be issued. So, if it’s lost, you have no other option but to pay the duty again.