For most people, owning a house is a dream that they yearn to fulfil with years of hard work. From researching the properties and locations to buy a property, there are several processes that a potential homeowner has to follow. One of the most important processes of buying a property is registering it in the homeowner’s name. Without registration, a property transaction is not valid. Among the costs incurred by the buyer while registering the property, Stamp Duty is an important one.
Stamp Duty is payable under the provisions of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 on certain transactions and documents. The Stamp Duty charges vary from state to state and can be paid in three ways:
- Through the non-judicial paper – In this method, the buyer and seller sign the physical stamp paper on which the agreement details are stipulated.
- Franking – This is a process where the agreement that is printed on a plain paper is submitted to an authorised bank or franking centre. The bank processes the document; once the stamp duty is paid, the franking centre will mark the documents.
- E-Stamping – Under this method, non-judicial Stamp Duty can be paid securely.
E-stamping, being the most convenient way to pay Stamp Duty, has been replacing the former two ways of paying Stamp Duty. Since it’s fairly new, people are still not familiar with the procedure. This article will help you understand e-Stamping in a better way.
What is e-Stamping?
E-Stamping refers to a computer-based application with which Stamp Duty can be paid in a secure way. In India, the Stock Holding Corporation of India (SHCIL), appointed as the Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA), has the authority to collect Stamp Duty. SHCIL has appointed Authorised Collection Centers (ACC) to issue the e-Stamp papers; ACCs are agents who act as intermediaries between the CRA and the Stamp Duty payer.
What are the advantages of e-Stamping?
A major advantage of e-Stamping is that it can be generated within a few minutes. Indian Government introduced e-Stamping to tackle the counterfeit stamp papers that were rampant. E-stamp papers cannot be tampered or forged because each certificate comes with a Unique Identification Number (UIN), and its authenticity can be checked 24/7 online. Also, stamp papers of any denomination can be printed.
How to get an e-Stamp paper?
An e-Stamp paper can be obtained by following these simple steps.
- Go to SHCIL’s official website http://www.shcilestamp.com
- In the drop-down menu available on the home page, check whether your state allows e-Stamping.
- Once you select the state, you will be displayed with a host of information on collection centres including the sub-registrar offices, authorized bank branches, and SHCIL centres where payment can be done.
- An application form can be obtained from the ACCs and the Stamp Duty can be paid:
- By cash
- Through cheque or demand draft
- Online using debit cards, pay orders, NEFT, RTGS, or account-to-account transfer.
Once the Stamp Duty is paid, an e-Stamp paper is generated.
How to verify if an e-Stamp paper is authentic?
An e-Stamp paper’s authenticity can be checked by following these steps:
- Go to the official SHCIL website.
- Click on the ‘Verify e-Stamp certificate’ option displayed on the homepage.
- Fill the mandatory fields that include:
- Your state
- Unique Identification Number (UIN) that comes with every e-Stamp certificate
- Select among the available Stamp Duty types.
- Enter the date on which the certificate was issued.
- Enter the captcha and click verify.
Once the above-mentioned steps are completed, you will be displayed with a screen that shows that your e-Stamp paper is authentic. You can also cross-check the consideration price and the Stamp Duty amount along with the details that you have entered. Alternatively, you can verify the e-Stamp paper by scanning the barcode. You can also verify it through SHCIL’s mobile app.
What are the important things to keep in mind while applying for an e-Stamp paper?
The following are some of the important things to keep in mind when filling the application form.
- Document description refers to the purpose of buying an e-Stamp paper. If you are buying for a Rent Agreement, this has to be filled under the ‘document description’ field.
- In the ‘consideration amount’ field, fill the total amount involved in the transaction. This is the amount entered between the buyer and seller in a purchase or sale of a property.
- The first party is the one who purchases and executes the e-Stamp paper.
- The second party can include a tenant, buyer, transferee, etc.
- When buying e-Stamp paper for the Rental Agreement, the owner’s name should be written under the first party and the tenant’s name is written under the second party.
- If there is no second party, fill it as Nil or Not Applicable.
Additionally, these are some points to bear in mind when applying for an e-Stamp paper.
- Once an e-Stamp paper is generated, it cannot be edited or modified. So, an applicant should always preview the certificate before it is generated.
- Since a duplicate e-Stamp paper is not issued in the event of losing it, recipients should safeguard it carefully.
- To cancel an e-Stamp certificate, you need to contact the concerned authority at the Stamp Office appointed by the State Government.
Since a delay in paying stamp duty attracts penalties, it is important to pay it in full and in a timely manner to the Government. As in any sector, digitalisation has started to take root in the real estate sector as well. Due to the introduction of e-Stamping, paying stamp duty has become a hassle-free experience.