Stamp Duties Act, 1970
Act 37 of 1970
- Assented to on 1 October 1970
- Commenced on 23 October 1970
- [This is the version of this document at 1 December 1998.]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short title and commencementThis Act may be cited as the Stamp Duties Act, 1970.
2. InterpretationIn this Act unless the context otherwise requires—“bill of exchange” includes any unconditional order in writing, addressed by one person to another, signed by the person giving the order, and requiring the person to whom it is addressed to pay on demand, or at a fixed or determinable future time, a sum of money to a specified person or his order or to bearer, and an order to pay shall for the purposes of this definition be deemed to be an unconditional order even though coupled with—(a)an indication of a particular fund out of which the drawee is to reimburse himself or of a particular account to be debited with the amount;(b)a statement of the transaction which gives rise to the bill;(c)a statement in the bill that it is drawn against specified documents attached thereto for delivery on acceptance or on payment of the bill, as the case may be; or(d)a statement on the bill that it is drawn under or against a specified letter of credit or other similar authority;“broker” includes an agent or other person acting in a similar capacity;“brokerage” includes a commission or similar fee;“broker’s notice” means the note required to be sent by any broker to his principal under section 20 advising the sale or purchase of a marketable security or any movable property;“cheque” means a bill of exchange drawn on a banker and payable on demand, and such a bill payable at sight or on presentation shall be deemed to be payable on demand;“die” means any plate, type, tool or implement whatever which is used for expressing or denoting any duty or rate of duty or the fact that any duty or rate of duty or penalty has been paid or that an instrument is duly stamped or is not chargeable with duty, and includes any part of any such plate, type, tool or implement;“duly stamped” in relation to an instrument requiring to be stamped under this Act, means that the instrument has been stamped as required by this Act for the proper amount of duty and the amount of any penalty incurred under section 10(1)(a) and, where adhesive stamps have been used, that such stamps have been defaced as required by this Act;“duty” means any duty imposed by this Act and includes a fee;“executed”, used in relation to an instrument, means executed as required by law or as accepted as sufficient in law;“fee” means a fee the payment of which is prescribed by or under a law or rule of court in respect of proceedings or process or a document tendered or used in a court of law or in respect of a matter to be transacted or document used in a public office;“fixed deposit” means a deposit of money for a definite period and includes a deposit of money for an indefinite period which is withdrawable after the expiry of a period of notice equal to at least eighty-nine days;“forge” includes counterfeit;“instrument” includes any written document or writing;“magistrate’s court” means a subordinate court established under the Subordinate Courts Proclamation (Cap. 20);“marketable security” means any security, stock, debenture, share or other interest capable of being sold on a share market or exchange or otherwise, and, where the context so requires, includes the scrip, certificate, warrant or other instrument by which the ownership of or title to any such security, stock, debenture, share or other interest is represented and the right of option to acquire any share, stock or debenture, of a company or corporate body, other than a building society, local authority, the Swaziland Credit and Savings Bank, the Swaziland Electricity Board, the Swaziland Railway and such other statutory body as the Minister may designate by notice in the Gazette;“material” includes material of every description upon which words or figures can be expressed;“Minister” means the Minister for Finance;“penalty” means a penalty recoverable under section 31;“policy of life insurance” means an insurance policy upon a life or lives or upon an event or contingency relating to or depending upon a life or lives, but excludes a policy of funeral insurance and 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 to cover compensation or damage due under a law relating to workmen’s compensation or employer’s liability or the common law is payable in respect of the death or illness of or injury to an employee;“policy or certificate of marine insurance” means an insurance policy or certificate of insurance which is executed in respect of marine business but excludes any policy insuring a person solely against inland transit risks;“promissory note” means an unconditional promise in writing made by one person to another, signed by the maker, and engaging to pay on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time a sum of money to or to the order of such other person or any other specified person or to bearer, but does not include a bank note;“receipt” means any instrument whereby money or any bill of exchange or promissory note for money is acknowledged or expressed to have been received or deposited or paid or whereby any debt, or demand or any part of a debt or demand is acknowledged to have been settled, satisfied or discharged, or which signifies or imports any such acknowledgement and whether it is signed or not;“revenue” means the revenue of Swaziland received or accrued by way of a tax, fee, levy, duty or rate;“revenue officer” means—(a)the Accountant-General and a member of his staff authorised by him in writing;(b)in respect of instruments relating to matters officially concerning him, the registrar, master or clerk of a court, the registrar of companies and the registrar of deeds; and(c)an officer in the public service authorised by the Minister by notice in the Gazette to act as a revenue officer for the purposes of this Act either in respect of instruments generally or in respect of such classes of instruments as may be specified in the notice;“stamp”—(a)when used as a noun, means an adhesive stamp approved by the Minister in writing as a revenue stamp for use under this Act or an impression made by means of a die approved by the Accountant-General in writing, for the purposes of a receipt includes a postage stamp; and(b)when used as a verb, means to affix a stamp to, or impress a stamp on, an instrument.
Part II – Administration of Act
3. Duties and responsibilities of Accountant-GeneralThe Accountant-General—
Part III – Imposition of stamp duties
4. Stamp duty to be charged in accordance with the ScheduleEvery instrument described in the Schedule not being an instrument in respect of which exemption is provided for in this Act or in the Schedule, shall be subject to the duties prescribed in the Schedule in respect of the instrument, if the instrument is executed—
4bis. Amendment of the ScheduleSubject to the concurrence of the Council, the Minister may by notice in the Gazette amend or vary the Schedule.[Added K.O-I-C. 21/1976]
5. General exemptions
Part IV – General provisions relating to the stamping of instruments
6. Use of stamps in payment of duty
7. How instruments to be stamped
8. Persons liable to stamp various instrumentsThe persons respectively liable for duty and required to stamp an instrument are, in the case of—
9. Time within which instruments shall be stamped
10. Late stamping of instruments and penalties for default
11. Defacement of adhesive stamps
12. Adjudication respecting liability for stamp duty or penaltyA note or certificate made on or in respect of any instrument and signed by the Accountant-General or by his authority, stating that the instrument is duly stamped or is not chargeable with duty or penalty or further duty or penalty, shall for all purposes be conclusive evidence of the fact so noted or certified.
13. Invalidity of instruments not duly stampedSave as is otherwise expressly provided in any law, no instrument which is required to be stamped under this Act shall be made available for any purpose whatever unless it is duly stamped, and in particular shall not be produced or given in evidence or be made available in any court of law, except in criminal proceedings, or in any proceedings by or on behalf of the Government for the recovery of any duty on the instrument or of any penalty alleged to have been incurred under this Act in respect of such instrument:Provided that the court before which any such instrument is tendered may permit or direct that, subject to the payment of any penalty incurred in respect of such instrument under section 10(1), it be stamped in accordance with this Act and upon the instrument being duly stamped may admit it in evidence.
14. Duties of public officers and other persons
15. Evasion of dutyAny 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 an instrument shall be void:Provided that this section shall not prohibit an agreement between parties as to the distribution between themselves of liability to pay the amount which is payable as duty.
16. Stamping of unstamped instruments with amount of duty and penalty recoveredUpon the recovery under section 31 of the duty or any penalty payable in respect of any instrument, the duty or penalty recovered shall be denoted on the instrument by stamps or, if the Accountant-General so directs, a note or certificate may be made on the instrument and signed by him or by his authority stating that the instrument is duly stamped.
Part V – Provisions applicable to particular instruments
17. Bills of exchange and promissory notes drawn or made outside SwazilandAny person who comes into possession of a bill of exchange or promissory note which has been drawn or made outside Swaziland and which is not duly stamped, shall, before he presents it for payment or endorses, transfers or in any manner negotiates or pays it, stamp it at the rates and in the manner prescribed by this Act:Provided that a bill of exchange drawn outside Swaziland and transmitted to Swaziland only for acceptance and return to the drawer shall not be chargeable with duty at that stage.
18. Bills of exchange
19. Promissory notes
20. Broker’s notes
21. Company share capital duty
22. Fixed deposit receipts
23. Leases of immovable property
24. Marketable securities
25. ReceiptsAny person who—
26. Security or suretyship
Part VI – Offences
27. Offences relating to stamping or defacement of stamps and evasion of dutyAny person who—
28. Offences relating to dies and stamps
29. Presumption in case of possession or sale of forged stampsAny person in whose possession any forged stamp or any stamp which has been fraudulently printed or impressed from a genuine die is found, shall, unless the contrary is proved, be deemed to have had the stamp in his possession knowing it to be forged or to be so printed or so impressed and with intent to sell, use or utter it, and any person who sells or exposes for sale or utters or uses any such stamp shall, unless the contrary is proved, be deemed to have done so knowing it to be forged or to be so printed or so impressed.
30. Powers of search for and seizure of forged stamps, etc.
Part VII – General and miscellaneous
31. Recovery of duty and penalties by action
32. Accountant-General may require production of instruments or authorised officer may search for instruments
33. Refunds of duty
History of this document
01 December 1998 this version
23 October 1970
01 October 1970
Cited documents 1
Documents citing this one 15
- Swaziland Government Gazette dated 1993-06-04 number 954
- Swaziland Government Gazette dated 1994-09-09 number 45
- Swaziland Government Gazette dated 1997-03-14 number 232
- Swaziland Government Gazette dated 2000-06-30 number 577
- E.I.S Marketing (Pty) Limited v Maswazi Nsibande N.O and Others (837 of 2003)  SZHC 81 (21 June 2004)
- L.G Electronics SA (Pty) Ltd v KC Air Conditioning Electrical And Instrument Control (Pty) Ltd (1669 of 2003)  SZHC 99 (29 July 2004)
- Ntshangase and Others v Royal Highness Prince Tfohlongwane NO and Others (4427 of 5)  SZHC 65 (16 August 2008)
- Swaziland Industrial Development Company Limited v Johnny Fifty Five (Pty) Ltd (2656 of 2008)  SZHC 205 (24 October 2008)