‘Adjudication’ is the formal process under which HMRC give a formal opinion in respect of a particular instrument whether stamp duty is due and if so, the amount of duty payable. It may be voluntary or obligatory.

Taxpayers may voluntarily submit an instrument for adjudication where, for example, they wish to ensure that it has been stamped with the correct amount of duty.

Adjudication is compulsory in most cases where an exemption is claimed and a necessary pre-requisite for an appeal against a penalty for late stamping.

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