Electronic signatures for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Stock Transfer Forms

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) electronic signatures for stamping stock transfer forms have been made permanent

The UK government is continuing to accelerate its digital transformation by making electronic signatures for stock transfer forms permanent. Following the adoption of electronic signatures by the HM Land Registry (HMLR) last year, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) recently confirmed that the new Stamp Duty processes introduced on 25th March 2020 to include the use of electronic signatures now has permanent status.

The new procedure allows the stamp duty process to be completed online via email. This replaces the previous procedure where stock transfer forms were physically stamped using a specialised machine located at one of HMRC's offices. As part of the new procedure, HMRC now accepts electronic signatures for stock transfer forms. 

What are stock transfer forms used for?

A stock transfer form is used for share transfer. You need to use this form to transfer shares - it’s been used when shares are transferred from one person to another and to pay stamp duty on a stock transfer form since March 2020. You can get full guidance on when you need to complete a stock transfer form and how to complete it at GOV.UK. Some share transfers have stamp duty relief and exemptions.

Summary of the new procedure for stamp duty

Under the new procedure, the stamp duty process will be dealt with electronically, with correspondence via email, and you can pay stamp duty or make repayments by bank transfer. HMRC will accept PDF copies of wet-ink instruments of transfer or electronically executed instruments of transfer (i.e. instruments executed via electronic signature). This process also applies to any supporting documents that need to be submitted as part of a stamp duty application or application for stamp duty relief.


Government bodies are moving towards more digital

Local and national lockdowns, as well as the government's social distancing guidance further reinforced the inefficiencies and problems of relying solely on a physical stamping process and demonstrated that it is possible to implement more efficient systems using modern digital transformation technologies, such as electronic signatures. 

The new HMRC procedures followed the acceptance of electronic signatures by HM Land Registry last year. 

This move towards digitisation by government bodies reinforces the belief that digital technologies, such as electronic signatures, provide greater efficiency, flexibility, and a better experience for many people and organisations in the UK when working with these government bodies.

How can Docusign help?


Docusign provides solutions that allow you to sign and witness agreements and other documents electronically. 

Our solutions can help organisations align with HMRC and HM Land Registry guidelines, including the ability to add and authenticate signers and witnesses electronically.

We’ve recently collaborated with HMLR and leading law firms in the UK to refine our offering and launch a new eWitness with an authentication feature. In fact, Docusign eSignature was the first electronic signing platform to be used with the HMLR’s new witness electronic signature process. At the Disruptive Technology of the Year Legal Week Innovation Awards 2021, Docusign was recognised for our work in helping to further digitise the land registry signature and witnessing process.

In summary:

What do I need to know about HM Revenue and Customs?

HMRC are the UK’s tax, payments and customs authority, and they collect money that pays for the UK’s public services. HMRC stock transfer forms are used when shares are transferred, and you can learn more about completing a stock transfer form and paying stamp duty on shares.

Where can Docusign support in signing stock transfer forms?

You can now legally use electronic signatures to sign stock transfer forms. Docusign eSignature can help you sign and execute valid stock transfer forms. Docusign can also help you add and authenticate both signers and witnesses electronically.

What is the fastest way to digitally sign stock transfer forms?

The fastest way to sign a stock transfer form is by using an electronic signature. A digital signature is a specific type of electronic signature that uses a specific technical implementation to meet the needs of highly regulated industries. You can find out the types of electronic signature here. Docusign can help you sign from almost anywhere or using a mobile. Using an electronic signature platform like Docusign eSignature also ensures that your signature is secure and compliant. 

What’s next? 

We live in a world where change is constant and rapid. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the private, professional and regulatory sphere. McKinsey research has found that the pandemic has significantly accelerated the adoption of digital technologies by several years—the latest use of electronic signature use by HMRC and HM Land Registry are examples of how rapidly things are evolving and electronic signing is being broadly adopted.

We are honoured to be in a position where we can support our customers with this exciting new development. We are further energised by the opportunity to continue to collaborate with industry experts, leading UK law firms and the UK government, in continuing to further improve the digital experience in the UK.

For more information about how Docusign eSignature can support electronic signature and electronic witnessing in the UK, including specifically with HM Land Registry deeds and HMRC stock transfer forms, or if you’d like to collaborate with Docusign on our global efforts to help accelerate the world’s digital transformation, please contact us.