Stamp duty tax on legal transactions

Individuals and businesses must pay a duty to get certain official documents stamped. Stamped documents are admissible for legal transactions and proceedings. Unstamped documents will not be received in evidence of any proceedings.

Types of documents subject to stamp duty

You must be date and sign all documents before they can be stamped.
These documents include:

  • Affidavit, declaration or affirmation
  • Affidavit of value of deceased estate
  • Agreement or memorandum of agreement
  • Appointment
  • Appointment of new trustee
  • Appraisement or valuation
  • Awards on arbitration
  • Bill of exchange
  • Bond
  • Charter party
  • Conveyance or transfer of real or personal property
  • Covenant
  • Declaration or revocation of a trust
  • Deed
  • Duplicate or counterpart
  • Exchange
  • Insurance premium receipt
  • Lease and agreement for lease
  • Letter of allotment
  • Marketable securities and shares
  • Memorandum of association
  • Memorandum of increased capital
  • Mortgage, bond, debenture, or warrant of attorney
  • Notarial act
  • Partition or division
  • Partnership agreement
  • Policy of insurance or reinsurance
  • Power of attorney
  • Promissory note
  • Release or renunciation
  • Settlement Trust deed

Stamp duty fees

Stamping fees vary depending on the type of document or transaction.

The Office of the Tax Commissioner may be required to give an opinion on the following:

  1. whether an item is subject to stamp duty; and
  2. how much stamp duty will be charged on an item.

As of 1 April 2023 you will be charged $212 for each item the Office of the Tax Commissioner must adjudicate. You are required to produce the item together with evidence so the Office of the Tax Commissioner has all the facts and circumstances affecting the value of the item that is subject to stamp duty and the amount of the stamp duty to be paid.

Conveyance or transfer on sale of land fees

Land transfer or general transfer stamp fees are based on the value of the transaction. The fee is calculated on a sliding scale, with different portions of the transfer taxed differently, as follows:

Amount or value Stamp duty fees

On the first $100,000

2.1 per cent

On the next $400,000 (up to $500,000)

3.15 per cent

On the next $500,000 (up to $1 million)

4.20 per cent

On the next $500,000 (up to $1.5 million)

6.3 per cent

Thereafter (over $1.5 million)

7.35 per cent

In respect of property that is not a Bermuda property - 1 per cent.

Lease agreements

The stamp duty payable on lease agreements is as follows:

Term Lease Stamp duty

Up to three years

 1.05% of the aggregate rent payable for the term of the lease

 More than three years

 1.05% of the aggregate rent payable for the first three years of the lease, plus 0.5% of the aggregate rent payable for any additional period beyond three years

Duplicate copies are stamped for $27.

Mortgage Refinancing

If you transfer your mortgage from one financial institution to another, you may not have to pay stamp duty on the mortgage if its total value is $1,000,000 or less. If the mortgage is for more than $1,000,000, no stamp duty may be payable on the first $1,000,000 but any amount in excess of $1,000,000 will be chargeable to stamp duty at 1/2 per centum.

How to pay Bermuda stamp duty

Stamp duty must be paid to the Accountant General by cheque or cash. Read more about paying taxes and bills in Bermuda.