Stamp Duties

Stamp Duties

Stamp Duties

The Stamp Duties Unit was a new unit which was transferred to FRCS effective from 1 April, 2011.

What services are provided by Stamp Duties Unit?

The main functions of the Unit, which is also located at our Customer Service Centres, are as follows:

  • To attend to all general enquiries
  • To assess legal documents.
  • To process conditional exemption, refinancing and refund applications.
  • To attend to waiver of stamp duties submission to the Minister for Finance.
  • To attend to stamping of legal documents.

What is Stamp Duty?

Stamp duty is a tax on legal documents. Such documents are termed “instruments”.
It is payable on documents describe in the first schedule of the Stamp Duties Act- Revised up to 30th January, 2013; Stamp Duties (Amendment) Decree No. 28 of 2014- 30th August 2014 ; Stamp Duties Act- Revised up to 15th December 2014.

Examples of such documents are:

  • Lease / Tenancy Agreements

These are documents that are prepared and signed when you rent a property. Stamp duty is calculated on the actual rent or market rent whichever is higher.  The person who leases or rents the property (lessee or tenant) is responsible for paying stamp duty.

The revised stamp duty rates for leases are given in the Stamp Duties (Amendment) Decree 2011 (Decree No. 28 of 2014). For instance to promote the agricultural sector, exemption is given to leases for agricultural purposes (including dairy) where the land is below 100 acres.

  • Sale & Purchase Agreements

These are documents that are prepared and signed when you buy or sell your property (real or personal) or sale of business. The buyer is responsible for paying stamp duty. Stamp duty fee is $10.

If there is a transaction that involves a transfer of property of any kind without any legal transfer document then 3% or 10% will be charged on the consideration or market value whichever is higher).

  • Transfer Document

These are documents that are prepared and signed when you buy or sell real property. Stamp duty is payable on the price or valuation of the property. The document can be exempted if it qualifies under General or Conditional Exemption clause of the Stamp Duties Act.

The person who buys the property (transferee) is responsible for paying stamp duty on the Transfer document and the rate depends on the residency of the transferee.

  • Mortgages

These are documents that are prepared and signed when you obtain a loan from banks for the purchase of acquiring a property or for some other purposes.  Stamp duty is chargeable on the loan amount and it depends on whether it is exempted or not.

The person who obtains the loan (mortgagor) is responsible for paying the stamp duty on the mortgage document. The stamp duty is charged at a rate of 1.75% or 5% of the loaned amount, depending on the residency of the applicant.

  • Share Transfer Documents

These are documents that are prepared and signed when you buy or sell shares. Stamp duty is payable on the actual price or net asset value of the shares whichever is higher. The person who buys the shares (transferee) is responsible for paying stamp duty on the Share Transfer document.

  • Transfer of Second-hand Motor Vehicles

These are the documents that must be presented to the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to register transfer of ownership of a registered motor vehicle. The Stamp duty rate is $3.00 for every $100.00 or part of $100 of the purchase or buying price.

Valuation to determine purchase price may be undertaken if no value is declared. LTA will collect the stamp duty on behalf of FRCS with effect from 01 February 2015.

Some exemptions apply to religious and charitable bodies, persons exempted under some other Fiji laws:

    • Those exempted under their Act
    • Transfer on will, divorce
  • Penalties apply for late stamping 25% and 50%

Stamp Duty exemptions

Description Authority
1 Any transfer of property to or in trust for any corporation or body of persons associated for religious, charitable or educational purposes and any instrument for declaring or defining trust or for appointing new trustees in respect of such property. SDA Schedule on Transfers Exemption (b)
2 Transfer pursuant to Court Order exempt only if Court Order stipulates SDA Schedule on Transfers Exemption (c )
3 Transmission of an asset to an executor or beneficiary on the death of a person SDA Schedule on Transfers Exemption (d ) This is effective from 01/08/17
4 Transfer of a principal place of residence, first residential property, an interest in the capital assets, or shares in a company, by reason of love and affection between spouses, siblings, parents to children and vice versa and grandchildren to grandparents and vice versa SDA Schedule on Transfers Exemption (e ) This is effective from 01/08/17
5 Every instrument for the conveyance of any property or any interest therein to the Government SDA Part 2 General exemption Paragraph 2
6 Any instrument expressly exempted under any Act SDA Part 2 General exemption Paragraph 8 E.g. under the FRCS Act is exempt from stamp duty on any motor vehicles purchased or transferred to it. The same applies to other statutory bodies that have a specific exempting provision from the payment of stamp duty.
7 Any employment contract SDA Part 2 General exemption Paragraph 27 This is effective from 01/01/15
8 Transfer of vehicles by probate or divorce settlements SDA Part 2 General exemption Paragraph 28 This is effective from 01/01/15
9 Any small and micro enterprise with an annual gross turnover not exceeding $500,000 is exempted from paying any stamp duty under this Act provided that they declare by way of statutory declaration that they have a gross turnover not exceeding $500,000 SDA Part 2 General exemption Paragraph 29 This is effective from 01/01/16
10 Any Crop Lien SDA Part 2 General exemption Paragraph 30 This is effective from 01/01/16

 

Examples

Example 1A intends to sell registered Toyota Fielder to B for a consideration of $15,000. Mr A will transfer the title/ownership to Mr B. Calculate the stamp duty payable on this transfer by Mr B? Stamp Duty = $15,000 * 3% = $450   
Example 2Mr X intends to sell registered Toyota Ipsum to Mr Z for a consideration of $10,000. Mr X will transfer the title/ownership to Mr Z. Calculate the stamp duty payable on this transfer by Mr Z? Stamp Duty = $10,000 * 3% = $300   
Example 3Mr X intends to sell registered Toyota Ipsum to Mr Z for a consideration of $10,050. Mr X will transfer the title/ownership to Mr Z. Calculate the stamp duty payable on this transfer by Mr Z? Stamp Duty = $10,100 * 3% = $303  Round up $10,050 to $10,100 as the SD is $3 per $100 or part of $100. 

 

 

When should I pay stamp duty?

Once the document is signed and dated, stamp duty needs to be paid:

  • Within 2 months after the date of the document or
  • More than 2 months and not more than 3 months after execution, a fine of 25% on the amount payable or $500, whichever is higher (effective from 01/08/17)
  • Within 3 months after execution, a fine of 50% on the amount of the duty payable or $1,000 , whichever is higher (effective from 01/08/17)
  • If executed at any place out of Fiji, may be stamped at any time within 1 month after it has been received in Fiji.

Why should I pay stamp duty?

It is an offence to use a document which stamp duty has not been paid on.

A document where stamp duty is paid can be admitted as evidence in the court in cases of disagreements.

What are the documents that I need not pay Stamp Duty?

Examples of documents where stamp duty is not payable:

  • Affidavit
  • Statutory Declaration
  • Revocation of Power of Attorney
  • Record of Death
  • Will

 

 

 

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