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Paying stamp duty is an essential part of almost any transaction you do in India, from buying or selling a house.

 

WHY WE NEED STAMP PAPER ?

The law requires you to pay stamp duty to the central or state government when certain transactions take place, such as buying, selling or leasing property. This payment is done through the purchase of stamp paper and is proof that the government has been paid its share, for future reference.

 

E-STAMPING

The Indian government introduced e-stamping to tackle counterfeiting and make the payment of stamp duty easier and glitch free. In fact, in certain states, such as Delhi, all stamp duty needs to be paid through e-stamping.

 

The central government has appointed the Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL) as the Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA) for all e-stamps used in the country.

 

Currently, SHCIL is responsible for everything-from user registration to administration, all e-stamping applications and maintenance of records. SHCIL has also designated authorised collection centres, or ACCs-scheduled banks-that will issue certificates to users.

 

The process is simple. First, you will have to go to the SHCIL website, www.shcilestamp.com, and check if your state government allows e-stamping. The site also has information on which transactions require stamping and addresses of collection centres.

 

If the option is available in your state, you will have to fill an application form at an ACC. The application form should have details of the parties involved and the transaction for which it is to be used.

 

This form is to be submitted along with payment for the stamp certificate. You can pay in currency or use a cheque or demand draft if it is done at the ACC. Online payment can be made using debit cards, credit cards, pay orders, RTGS, NEFT or through an account-to-account transfer.

 

The benefits of using e-stamps are many. It can be generated within minutes and is tamper-proof and all data is saved by SHCIL. In addition, an e-stamp's authenticity can be verified online using the enquiry module on the website as each e-stamp generates a unique identification number.

 

This does not mean there is no flaw in the system. The major flaw is that if the e-stamp certificate is misplaced, a duplicate copy cannot be issued. Also, if you wish to cancel the request for an e-stamp for a refund, it can be done only at SHCIL offices and not at the ACC that issued the certificate.