The laws on stamp duty are set out in the Stamp Duty Ordinance. Stamp duty is either a fixed fee or is calculated ad valorem depending on the nature of the transaction. As far as individuals are concerned, it is payable on:
Immovable Property Stamp Duty Rates
2 separate rates of stamp duty are payable on immovable property:
The following immovable property transactions are exempt from stamp duty:
Immoveable Property Stamp Duty Anti-Avoidance Provisions
There are elaborate anti avoidance provisions in place aimed at deterring speculation. Thus, where the beneficial owner of real estate executes an instrument in favor of a third party under which he undertakes to hold the real estate on trust for the third-party duty is payable on this instrument as if a conveyance had taken place. Likewise stamp duty is payable where under an uncompleted contract of sale the vendor is deemed by law to hold on trust for the purchaser.
Stamp Duty Payable on Shares & Marketable Securities
Stamp duty of 0.1% is payable on the transfer of shares or marketable securities, unless the transfer is a voluntary disposition inter vivos in which case the rate is double.
Securities Transactions Exempted from Stamp Duty
The following transactions are exempt from stamp duty:
Loan capital transactions, bills of exchange, promissory notes, certificates of deposit, exchange fund debt instruments and Hong Kong multilateral agency debt instruments.
Transactions involving debentures, loan stocks, funds bond or notes that are not denominated in Hong Kong currency except to the extent that they are redeemable in that currency.
Stock donated to charitable bodies or public trusts which are exempt from taxation in Hong Kong.
Stamp Duty Payable on Bearer Instruments
The amount of stamp duty payable is 3% of the value of the instrument transferred.