1) What should be the procedure of payment of stamp duty if the document has not been adequately stamped and had been executed about three months ago? What is the position if the document has been executed one year ago?
The applicant should apply to the Collector under Sec. 40 of the Bombay Stamp Act and should submit the original agreement with two xerox copies of the same. The applicant should also give reasons why he could not pay the stamp duty before the execution of the document. In all such cases the Collector may not impound the document and might instead of proceeding under Sec. 33 and / or Sec. 39 of the Bombay Stamp Act may proceed to rectify the same as per the provision of Sec. 41 of the Bombay Stamp Act. The Collector can recover the stamp duty amount under Sec. 40 and can endorse the instrument as per Sec. 41 of the Bombay Stamp Act and shall certify that proper stamp duty has been paid. On such endorsement the document shall be admissible in evidence and may be registered and acted upon and the authenticated as if it has been duly stamped and shall be delivered to the person who produced the document. If the document has been executed one year ago then the collector will impound the document and shall proceed under Section 33 and / or Section 39 of the Bombay Stamp Act. The penalty previously was from Rs. 5/- to an amount not exceeding ten times the amount of the proper duty. However now as per the recent amendment 2% penalty per month will be levied by the authorities.
2) Can one obtain refund if the agreement has not been signed and the parties have paid the stamp duty?
When one person possessing stamp or stamps in his possession which have been spoiled or rendered unfit or unless for the parties intended or the person does not require immediate use of the said stamps then such person should deliver the above said stamps to the Collector. The person has to make an application under Sec. 52 of the Bombay Stamp Act and the person should also submit the affidavit mentioning the reasons for which the stamps had been purchased and the reasons why the refund application is being made. If the applicant can convince the Collector then refund of the stamps could be obtained only if : The application is made within six months from the date of the purchase of stamps. The Stamps should have been purchased by such person with a bonafide intention. None of the parties should have signed the paper on which the stamps have been fixed. On receipt of such application, the Collector is empowered to refund to the said person the value of said stamp deducing there from said amount as prescribed by the competent authorities.
3) In case of resale of the flat who has to pay the stamp duty, the purchaser or the seller?
The parties can themselves decide who shall pay the stamp duty. If nothing is mentioned in the agreement then as per Section 30 of the Bombay Stamp Act if the transaction relates to resale of flats then the stamp duty will have to be paid by the purchaser.
4) What are the important judgements which refer to determination of market value?
Some of the judgements which can be of assistance in determining the market value are: 1) Reghubans Narain v/s Government of U.P. (AIR 1967 SC 465) which arises out of land Acquisition Act where the Supremen Court has held that market value on the basis of which consideration is payable under Section 23 of the Act means, the price that a willing purchaser would pay to the willing seller for a property having due regard to its existing advantage and its potential possibilities laid out in its most advantageous manner excluding any advantageous due to the carrying out of the scheme for the purpose for which the property is compulsorily acquired.
5) What are the consequences of under valuation of document?
It must be noted that if the collector has reason to believe that the instrument does not mention the true market value and such instrument has already been presented for registration, he can take a step for recovery of the duties by coercive measures only after giving reasonably opportunity to the opposite party of been heard. If the collector determines that the proper stamp duty has not been paid penalties can be levied on such instruments. The penalty can be levied at 2% per month for the period of default, till the time the proper stamp duty has not been paid as stated in this section the instruments are liable to be impounded.
6) What is an "Instrument" under the Act?
"Instrument includes every document by which any right or liability is or purports to he created, transferred, limited, extended, extinguished or recorded, but does not include a bill of exchange, cheque, promissory note, bill of lading, letter of credit, policy of insurance, transfer of share, debenture, proxy and receipt
7) Which documents are required to be compulsorily registered?
Documents listed in Section 17 of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 are to be registered compulsorily. Registration of documents listed in Section 18 of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 is optional. An agreement for leave and licence is required to be compulsorily registered under the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999.
8) Is there a time limit within which documents should be registered?
Yes. Documents must be registered within 4 months of the date of execution. Thereafter, documents can be registered within the next 4 months on payment of penalty.
9) Who is required to pay stamp duty and registration fee on purchase or lease of a flat or office?
A purchaser (whether on first sale from a developer or on resale of a flat) or a lessee of a flat or office is required to pay stamp duty and registration fee.
10) Is there a restriction on the name in which stamp paper must be purchased?
Yes. Therefore the stamp paper should be purchased in the name of one of the parties who would be signing the instrument.
11) Is there a time frame within which the stamp paper must be used?
Yes. Stamp paper should be used within 6 months from date of purchase. Any stamps not used within this period are invalid.