If you have been in India for long enough or have done any major transactions here, then you know about stamp papers. A stamp paper or a revenue stamp paper is an official document used when legally registering a transfer of assets. If you are buying property, it is crucial for you to register yourself as the owner of the property, or else who is to say that you really bought it?
This registration of the property will officially record this transaction in the books of the local government municipality. The government has made the use of stamp papers mandatory in such transactions so that it is easier to track changes in ownership. In the process of using this stamp paper to register the property in your name, you will have to pay a tax called stamp duty to the government before completing the transaction.
The process of buying a property is simple. Once you have your stamp paper, sales deed, and other property purchasing documents in place, check the market price of the property, agree on a sale price then pay the stamp duty. After which you can execute the deal.
To pay the stamp duty fee to the government, you will have to go to the sub-registrar office of the state in which the property is located, and pay the stamp duty there. The price of how much to pay for your stamp duty will depend on the market price of the property, as in, it will be a percentage of the market value of the property.
The stamp duty charges differ from state to state. On average, you will have to pay around 5 to 8 percent of the property value in tax. In India, the buyer is usually expected to pay this fee, but this is negotiable with the seller. In some cases, the seller pays this fee. There are also some cases where both the buyer and seller jointly pay this fee.
Most states in India charge a few percent less if the buyer is a woman. For properties that are jointly bought by a woman and a man, there are different rates for some states, usually a middle point between the two rates.
If for some reason you purchase a house and have not paid the stamp duty fee for it, then you are liable to pay a penalty of 2% of the payable amount every month that you delay, in addition to the payable amount. This reaches to a maximum of 200% of a penalty if you leave it for too long.
The stamp paper that is used in this process should be purchased in the name of the buyer or the seller. If it was not purchased in the name of any of the two parties involved in the deal, then the stamp paper will lose its value in six months.
Recently, the governments of a couple of states in India have established online stamp duty payment methods, which make this process easier and time effective. Therefore, this is also something you should look out for when paying your stamp duty.