Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Treasury, Miss Denise Yue, in moving the committee stage amendments to the Stamp Duty (Amendment) Bill 1999 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):
I move that clause 3(b) be amended as set out under my name in the paper circulated to Members.
Clause 3(b) of the Bill stipulates, among other things, the types of instruments which fall under the category of mandatory adjudication, and the conditions under which applications for refund of adjudication fee which has been inadvertently paid can be made. Cases where refund for adjudication fee may arise are essentially cases which are treated initially as voluntary adjudication and the adjudication fee has been paid accordingly, but are subsequently found to be cases belonging to the category of mandatory adjudication upon detailed examination by the Collector of Stamp Revenue.
In brief, applications for refund can be made under the following conditions. First, the instrument has been stamped under section 13(3) of the Ordinance which stipulates how the Collector of Stamp Revenue will stamp the instruments upon adjudication in accordance with whether they are chargeable to Stamp Duty or not. Second, the adjudication fee paid is in respect of an instrument which falls under the category of mandatory adjudication. Third, application for refund is made not later than 2 years after the Collector of Stamp Revenue has expressed his opinion on the instrument concerned.
We propose to amend Clause 3(b) so that the new section 13(1C) will set out more clearly the conditions under which an application for refund of adjudication fee can be made, in order to avoid doubt. It is a technical amendment. Specifically, it seeks to make it clear that a refund can be made regardless of whether or not the stamped instrument is chargeable to Stamp Duty upon mandatory adjudication, and that the timing of application for refund is not restricted to the time when the instrument is presented for stamping.
President, I beg to move.
End/Wednesday, January 12, 2000