Stamp duty to be applicable to alternative investment funds: Sebi

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Tuesday said stamp duty would be applicable to alternative investment funds(AIFs) from July 1.

Registrars to an issue and share transfer agents(RTA) appointed by AIFs would have to collect the stamp duty on issue, transfer and sale of units of AIFs, the regulator said in a circular.

“In absence of a specific inclusion of AIF units in the definition of ‘securities’ under SC(R)A (Securities Contract Regulation Act) it was not absolutely clear if the stamp duty was to payable on issuance, transfer of AIF units. However, with the Sebi circular, it’s now clear that the same will have to be collected,” said Tejesh Chitlangi, senior partner, IC Universal Legal.

The regulator said since the rule is applicable from Wednesday as an interim measure, AIFs should keep the applicable stamp duty in a designated bank account. They should then transfer the said amount to RTA upon appointment for onward remittance to states and union territories.

“AIFs, where RTA have not been appointed so far, shall appoint RTA, at the earliest, but not later than July 15, 2020 to enable collection of applicable stamp duty..“ Sebi said.

In case transactions are done through stock exchanges then the respective stock exchange or clearing corporation would collect the stamp duty.