Stamp Duties Act
- Commenced on 1 October 1954
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2016 and includes any amendments published up to 31 December 2017.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated by the Law Development Commission of Zimbabwe]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Stamp Duties Act [Chapter 23:09].
2. InterpretationIn this Act—“affixed”, in relation to an adhesive stamp, means securely fixed by means of an adhesive paste and by no other means;“authorized officer” means a person appointed in terms of section four;“broker” includes a person who is licensed or required to be licensed as a broker under the Securities Act [Chapter 24:25], where he or she deals in securities on behalf of a principal;[definition of "broker" inserted by section 120 of Act 17 of 2004]“broker’s note” means the note required to be sent by any broker or agent to his principal advising the sale or purchase of any marketable security or of any movable or immovable property;[definition of "broker's note" amended by section 120 of Act 17 of 2004]“Commissioner” means—(a)the Commissioner in charge of the department of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority which is declared in terms of the Revenue Authority Act [Chapter 23:11] to be responsible for assessing, collecting and enforcing the payment of the taxes leviable under the Income Tax Act [Chapter 23:06]; or(b)the Commissioner-General of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, in relation to any function which he has been authorised under the Revenue Authority Act [Chapter 23:11] to exercise;[definition of "Commissioner" substituted by section 36 of Act 17 of 1999]“duly stamped”, in relation to an instrument, means that the instrument is stamped with a stamp as defined in this section to the proper value including the penalty, if any, and that such stamp has been cancelled in accordance with law by the proper person;“duty” means any duty leviable by means of stamps under this Act or any other enactment;“executed”, in relation to an instrument, means executed as required by or sufficient in law;“forge” or “forged” includes counterfeit or counterfeited;“instrument” means any written document executed in Zimbabwe or executed outside Zimbabwe relating to any matter or thing performed or done or to be performed or done in Zimbabwe;“interim policy of insurance” means any instrument issued within Zimbabwe which purports to cover any risk under a contract of insurance pending the receipt from outside Zimbabwe of a final policy covering the same risk;“local authority” means a municipal council, rural district council or town council;“marketable security” means—(a)any security, stock, debenture, share or any other interest capable of being sold in a share market or exchange or otherwise;(b)the scrip, certificate, warrant or other instrument by which the ownership of or title to any such security, stock, debenture, share or other interest aforesaid is represented;“material” includes material of every description upon which words or figures can be expressed;“Minister” means the Minister of Finance or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;“policy of life insurance” means a policy upon any life or lives or upon any event or contingency relating to or depending upon any life or lives, except a policy of insurance against accident to a person or in respect of any injury, incapacity, sickness or the like, or a policy whereby a sum is payable to cover any compensation or damage due under an enactment relating to workers’ compensation or employer’s liability or the common law, in respect of the death or illness of or injury to an employee;“revenue officer” means the Commissioner or any officer in the department referred to in paragraph (a) of the definition of “Commissioner;[definition of "revenue officer" substituted by section 36 of Act 17 of 1999]“stamp” means a stamp impressed by means of a die or an adhesive stamp;“stamped”, in relation to an instrument or any material, means that the instrument or material is impressed with a stamp to the proper value by means of a die or has an adhesive stamp of the proper value affixed thereto;“this Act” includes Chapter II of the Finance Act [Chapter 23:04];“unstamped” means not duly stamped as required by this Act or any other enactment;“write”, “written”, “writing” includes every mode in which words or figures can be impressed upon material.
Part II – Administration
3. Appointment of revenue officers
4. Authorized officersThe Minister may, by notice in a statutory instrument, appoint any person or class of persons as an authorized officer or authorized officers for the purposes of this Act in respect of all instruments or other matters or such of the foregoing or such classes thereof as may be specified in the notice.
Part III – Stamp duty, stamping of instruments and defacement of stamps
5. Imposition of duties upon instruments and other mattersSubject to this Act, there shall be charged, levied and paid upon every instrument or other matter described in Chapter II of the Finance Act [Chapter 23:04] the duties specified therein.
6. Manner of denoting payment of duty and use of stamps in payment of duty
7. How instruments shall be written and stampedEvery instrument written upon any stamped material shall be written in such manner, and every instrument partly or wholly written before being stamped shall be so stamped, that the stamp appears on the face of the instrument and cannot be used for or applied to any other instrument written upon the same piece of material.
8. Facts and circumstances affecting duty to be set forth in instrumentsAll facts and circumstances affecting the liability of any instrument to duty or the amount of duty with which any instrument is chargeable shall be fully and truly set forth in the instrument, and every person who, with intent to evade the payment of duty—
9. Distinct matters contained in one instrument to be stamped separatelyAn instrument containing or relating to several distinct matters shall be separately and distinctly charged, in respect of each of the matters, with duty as if each such matter were contained in a separate instrument.
10. Determination of duty in special cases
11. Persons liable to stamp particular instruments
12. Time at which instruments shall be stamped
13. Validating penalty if instrument not stamped within time prescribed
14. How adhesive stamps shall be defaced
15. Persons who are required to deface adhesive stampsWhenever duty is denoted by adhesive stamps, liability or responsibility to deface the stamps shall be determined as follows—
Part IV – Provisions relating to particular instruments
17. Broker’s notes
17A. Off-market share transfer instruments
18. Policies of insurance
Part V – Provisions relating to registration of ownership of, and real rights in, immovable property
19. Interpretation in Part VIn this Part—“date of acquisition” means, in the case of the acquisition of property by way of a transaction, the date on which the transaction was entered into, irrespective of whether the transaction was conditional or not or was entered into for the benefit of a company already registered or on behalf of a company still to be registered and, in the case of the acquisition of property otherwise than by way of a transaction, the date upon which the person who so acquired the property became entitled to claim it:Provided that where property has been acquired by the exercise of an option to purchase or a right of pre-emption, the date of acquisition shall be the date upon which the option or right of pre-emption was exercised;“declared value”, in relation to property, means the value of the property as declared in the declaration completed in terms of section twenty-eight by the person who has acquired the property;“fair value”, in relation to property, means the fair market value of that property as at the date of acquisition thereof;“property” means immovable property of any description other than—(a)a right under a mortgage bond; or(b)a lease where the letting is for a period of less than twenty-five years; or(c)a mining tribute agreement; or(d)any servitude not being a fideicommissum, usufruct, usus or habitatio;“transaction” means an agreement whereby one party thereto agrees to sell, grant, donate, cede, exchange or otherwise dispose of property to another, and includes leases of twenty-five years’ duration or more.
20. ApplicationThis Part shall apply in respect of the registration by the Registrar of Deeds of the acquisition of property.
21. Joint ownersWhenever any property is registered by the Registrar of Deeds in the names of two or more persons as joint owners, all such persons shall be deemed for the purposes of payment of duty to have equal shares and interest in the property unless the particular share of interest of each is declared and set forth in the title deed.
22. State grantsNotwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Part or in Item 5 of the Schedule to Chapter II of the Finance Act [Chapter 23:04], in the case of a grant of land by the State no duty shall be payable in respect of the value of any improvements made to the land by the grantee at his own expense between the date of occupation of the land by the grantee and the date of the grant.
23. Value of property on which duty payable
24. Separate properties acquired in one transaction
25. Additions to considerationIf either party to a transaction has undertaken, agreed, or in any manner become liable, in connection with the acquisition, or the registration of the acquisition, of property, to pay to any person whomsoever any sum of money over and above the sum paid or to be paid to the seller, such sum not being one to which section twenty-six applies, then such sum shall be added to the consideration payable in respect of the acquisition of the property.
26. Exclusions from considerationThere shall for the purpose of the payment of duty be excluded from the consideration payable in respect of the acquisition of any property—
27. Valuation of consideration
28. Declarations to be submitted to Registrar of Deeds
29. Powers of Registrar of Deeds
30. Registration of acquisition of property prohibited where duty not paidThe Registrar of Deeds shall not make any record in his Deeds Registry of an acquisition of property made on or after the 30th July, 1964, if he has reason to believe that the amount of duty tendered in respect of the acquisition is less than the amount of duty payable under this Act.
32. Appeals from decisions of Registrar of Deeds
33. Stamps on copy held by Registrar of DeedsAny stamps denoting the payment of duty or fees paid in terms of this Part and Item 5 of the Schedule to Chapter II of the Finance Act [Chapter 23:04] shall be affixed to, and any certificate made in terms of subsection (2) of section six shall be endorsed upon, that copy of the instrument which is retained by the Registrar of Deeds.
34. Cancellations of acquisitionsAs often as the acquisition of any property is by the judgment of a competent court set aside, cancelled or declared or made void, no duty shall be payable thereon and any duty paid shall be refunded.
35. RegulationsThe Minister may make regulations providing for—
Part VI – Offences and penalties
36. Offences in relation to stamping of instruments, defacement of stamps and evasion of dutyAny person who—
37. Offences in relation to dies and stamps and unlawful possession of stamped paper
38. Presumption in case of forged stampsIf any forged stamp is found in the possession of any person authorized to sell or distribute stamps, that person shall, until the contrary is proved by him, be deemed to have had the stamp in his possession, knowing it to be forged and with intent to sell, use or utter it, and shall be liable to the punishment hereinbefore provided in the case of a person who sells or exposes for sale or utters or uses any forged stamp.
39. Powers of search for and seizure of forged stamps
40. Penalty for failure to stamp and for use of unstamped instrumentSave as is otherwise provided in this Act, any person liable to stamp any instrument liable to duty who fails to stamp the same as required by this Act, or in any manner makes use of an unstamped instrument, shall be liable to pay double the duty payable and shall in addition incur a penalty not exceeding an amount equivalent to a fine of level six.[section amended by section 4 of Act 22 of 2001]
Part VII – Supplimentary and miscellaneous
41. Recovery of duty and penalties by action
42. Stamping of unstamped instruments with amount of duty and penalty recoveredUpon the recovery as prescribed in this Act of any duty or penalty, the instrument in respect of which the duty or penalty is payable shall be stamped to denote the amount of duty and penalty recovered, and, upon defacement of the denoting stamps as required by this Act, the instrument shall be deemed for all purposes to be duly stamped. The stamping and defacement required by this section may be effected by the registrar or clerk of the court or by any authorized officer.
43. Non-availability of unstamped instruments
44. Agreements to evade duty shall be voidEvery contract, agreement or undertaking made for the purpose of evading, defeating or frustrating the requirements of this Act as to the stamping of instruments, or with a view to precluding objection or inquiry relative to the due stamping of any instrument shall be void.
45. Allowances or refunds of stamp duties or fees
46. Certified copies of instrumentsEvery person who attests or certifies any copy, duplicate or grosse of any instrument liable to duty shall add to his attestation or certificate a statement of the amount of duty stamped on the original instrument.
47. Certificate by revenue officer that an instrument is duly stamped shall be conclusiveA note or certificate made on any instrument under the official stamp of a revenue officer and signed by him or by his authority, stating that the instrument is duly stamped or is not liable to duty or to further duty, shall be conclusive in all courts and places of the facts so certified.
48. Exemption of State from payment of stamp dutyNo stamp duty imposed in terms of this or any other enactment which if paid would be a charge against the Consolidated Revenue Fund shall be paid by the State.
49. Exemption of diplomats and similar persons from payment of stamp duty
50. Exemption of indigent persons from payment of stamp duty and certain feesSubject to any rule of the High Court, no stamp duty imposed in terms of this Act or any other enactment shall be payable by any person who has been granted leave to take or defend any proceedings as an indigent person in respect of those proceedings, and any stamp duty or fee paid by any such person in respect of those proceedings before such leave was granted shall be refunded upon application by such person.
51. Regulations relating to provision of stamps
52. Regulations relating to demonetizationThe President may make regulations as to the demonetization or withdrawal of any die or any particular issue of stamps.
History of this document
01 October 1954