The Stamp Office is proactively reaching out to the agent that has intervened into the practice of Messrs Wong, Fung & Co and the affected duty payers to assist them in handling the relevant stamp duty matters.
The Inland Revenue Department made the statement in response to media enquiries regarding property stamp duty issues that may arise from the Law Society of Hong Kong’s intervention into the law firm’s practice.
The statement said that while the Stamp Office does not have the discretion to extend the time limit for stamping property transaction instruments under the law, if a duty payer’s failure to arrange stamping of a property transaction instrument before the time limit is the result of the intervention, the office is prepared to consider remission of penalty for late stamping.
The duty payer can make an application directly or through the newly engaged solicitor to the Stamp Office, it added.
If the duty payer is unable to raise funds to settle the stamp duty payable within a short period of time due to the freezing of the law firm’s relevant bank accounts, an application can be made to the office for instalment payment.
If the property transaction cannot be completed otherwise than by reason of resale or disposal of the property by the purchaser, the relevant agreement for sale is not chargeable with stamp duty. The duty payer can apply for a refund of the stamp duty paid in respect of the relevant agreement within two years after the agreed date of completion of the transaction.
The Stamp Office has informed the Law Society of Hong Kong of these arrangements.
The duty payers can call 2594 3202, fax 2519 9025 or email the office for enquiries.