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Bonds and Mortgages.-These duties are also charged at one uniform rate throughout, viz., 2s. 6d. for every 1007., and any portion of 100%., except that on sums not exceeding 3007. the duty is imposed by fifties, so as to charge only 1s. 3d. on the fraction over 501.; thus favouring minor transactions, instead of the more important ones as under the old system. The repealed duty was unjust and wholly indefensible upon principle; as will be perceived when it is stated that the duty on the mean sums in the scale, from not exceeding 50l. to not exceeding 20,0001. gradually diminished from 41. per cent. to 2s. 3d.; that the highest duty being 257., the rate on 40,000l. was 1s. 3d. per cent., and that this rate proportionately diminished with the increase in the amount of money secured.

The following is a comparison of old and new duties on bonds and mortgages for sums not exceeding 20,000l. :—

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And proceeding upwards to 20,0007. by thousands, dropping the intermediate hundreds, the comparison will be as follows, viz.:

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At this point the old duties stopped, there being no increase beyond 251. whatever might have been the amount of money secured; but the new duties continue on, ad infinitum, at the rate of 17. 5s. for every additional 1,0007., and in proportion for less than 1,0007.

A mortgage, or (as in Scotland) a bond without penalty, for securing money to become due, without limit, is available as a security for such an amount, only, as the duty thereon extends to cover. In other such

cases of bonds the duty is charged on the amount of the penalty.

A mortgage for securing money by way of rent-charge or annuity is chargeable with ad valorem duty on the money advanced. The case of an advance of money under the private Drainage Act (12 & 13 Vict. c. 100) is referred to in the work of a writer on the stamp laws (supplement to Tilsley's Treatise on the Stamp Laws, p. 26) as an instance in which this will apply.

The ad valorem duties on annuity bonds are somewhat varied. Where the annuity does not exceed 100%, relief, to some extent, is given; above that amount there is an increase, which is greater as advance is made upwards. The new duty is 27. for every 1007. and any fraction of 100l. per annum; the former duty was not a per centage, but, as in other cases, according to a scale, but not extending beyond 2,000l. a year. The present duty is not limited.

A valuable alteration is made in the duty on bonds given for any other purpose than as a security for money, where the penalty is of comparatively small amount. Under the old law the duty in every such case was 17. 15s., or some other fixed sum; it is, now, the same duty as would be payable on a bond given for securing money to the same amount as the penalty, where such latter duty is less than the fixed sum. Bonds given as a collateral or additional security for money are, likewise, charged with ad valorem duty where it would be less than the fixed duty thereon of 17. or 17. 15s, respectively.

Leases. Under this head the equity of the new system, by comparison with the old, will perhaps be more striking than under any other. The present rate of duty on the rent is 10s. per cent.; imposed thus, viz., where the yearly rent exceeds 1007., then for every 501. and any fraction of 501-58.; but upon rents of lower amount than 50%. the proportionate duty is charged in smaller steps, involving a less amount of duty for any fraction; thus, again, having favourable regard to matters of comparatively small value, and reversing the former

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principle. The repealed duties on leases, computed on the mean sums in the scale, were as follows, viz., 107. per cent. on rents under 201.; 51. per cent. on rents under 1007.; 17. 6s. 8d. on rents under 2007.; and gradually decreasing to 13s. 4d. on rents under 1000%.; the maximum duty on a rent of 1,000l. or upwards being 101. only. Relief for the most part to the agricultural interest no doubt prompted the adoption of so liberal a measure, but it will be found, perhaps, more extensively advantageous to the owners and occupiers of property in large towns.

A lease of minerals reserving a portion of the produce, by reference to an annual maximum or minimum amount, is to be charged with duty on such amount; and where the fine or rent consists of corn, &c., the duty is charged on the value, to be ascertained where there is no special contract by the returns published under the Tithe Commutation Act, or, in Scotland, the fiars prices of the county.

Assignments and surrenders of leases (not upon sale or mortgage) are to pay the same ad valorem duty, if not exceeding 17. 15s., as the lease itself would be liable to.

The duties on leases in Ireland are to be the same as in England. Settlement of money.-All the advantage afforded by the new Act in respect of the ad valorem settlement duties is on sums not exceeding 6007. The new duty is 5s. for every 1007. unlimited, and any fraction of 100%. The lowest duty under the former law was 17. 15s., which extended to cover any amount under 1,000l., and the highest, 251., for all sums amounting to 20,000l. or upwards; being 7s. per cent. on the mean sum under 1,0007., and averaging less than 2s. 6d. on the mean sums above 1,000l. and under 20,000. Thus the order of taxation is again rightly reversed.

These are the ad valorem duties affected by the new Act; and they may be said to be the only ones connected with the transfer of property by way of sale or security. Reference will now be made to other alterations which afford almost uniform relief.

Transfer of Mortgage.-This is an important branch of conveyancing; but it appears from the work of the Writer already referred to, that it is one that has been more perplexed than any other by the Stamp Duties; and the result of various modern decisions, although tending to quiet doubts previously existing, was to inflict an amount of charge not considered to have been intended by the legislature. The shifting of a mortgage security from one to another is always a cause of vexation to the debtor; but to the poor man it is a matter of serious moment. Independently of professional charges for investigating the title, and for preparing the conveyance, the Stamp Duty was, of itself, an intolerable burden. The lowest ad valorem mortgage duty, oppressive as it was, amounted only to 17.; but the lowest duty on a simple transfer of mortgage was 17. 15s.; and as in every instance a new covenant was, as a matter of course, contained in it, a further duty of 17. 15s. became, under a recent authority, chargeable; making 37. 10s. (besides a third stamp of 17. 15s. for the duty on a lease for a year, of which hereafter, where that attached) upon every transfer of mortgage, whether the money secured was under 100%. or above 20,000. This is now remedied. The maximum duty on a transfer of mortgage is 17. 15s.; and where, if the transaction was a mortgage, instead of a transfer, the ad valorem duty would be less than 17. 15s., then such ad valorem duty only is to be charged. Thus, for example, on a transfer of a mortgage for 100%, the Stamp Duty, instead of 37. 10s. as the

lowest amount, as heretofore, is now only 2s. 6d. By this alteration every transfer of mortgage is relieved from one stamp of 17. 15s.; and on all transfers where the money secured does not exceed 1,4007. further proportionate relief is given. Where, on a transfer, further money was advanced, the ad valorem duty on such further advance was payable in lieu of one of the duties of 17. 15s.; now, in such a case, the new ad valorem duty is all that is chargeable.

Further Assurance and further Security.-These instruments, which, before, were charged with 17. 15s. in all cases, are now charged with that amount as a maximum; the ad valorem duty being payable where it would be less than 17. 15s.

Further Advance.-Besides the duty on the further money lent, 17. 15s. was necessary if the deed contained any additional security, by covenant, or otherwise, for the original sum. Now, merely the ad valorem duty on the further advance is requisite.

Bargain and Sale (or Lease) for a year.-Whilst the cumbrous mode of conveyance of freehold property by actual lease and release gave rise to two deeds, there was certainly no inconsistency in imposing a Stamp Duty upon each of them; but when, by modern enactments, that system was superseded, and one of the instruments ceased to have, in fact, any existence at all, it may be said to be somewhat inconsistent, as it was felt to be exceedingly inconvenient in practice, to encumber the other deed with the duties on both; but so it was; the release, or grant which had a new conveyancing principle given to it, was charged with the duty before payable on the bargain and sale, or lease, for a year, as well as that which was properly its own. These duties are now swept away, entirely. Under the title Conveyance certain additional duties were imposed on a feoffment and bargain and sale enrolled as an equivalent for the duty on a lease for a year; these are, of course, also repealed.

Progressive Duties.-A vast improvement will be effected in conveyancing when any system can be established which shall materially curtail instruments in their verbosity. Something has been attempted by the legislature in this way, but without, at present, producing, in general practice, any alteration. The great length to which a deed may extend is by no means an indication of the value of the subjectmatter: and it is sufficiently oppressive that, to effect a transaction of perhaps minor importance, and of unavoidable necessity, an instrument of considerable length must be created, swelling the professional charges to an inordinate amount; but the burden is increased by Stamp Duties imposed, without regard to value, upon every certain quantity of words made use of. The late progressive duties were 17. or 11. 58. on every 1,080 words (15 folios) after the first 1,080. The new duty, which is charged in the same manner, is a relief in all cases; the maximum is 10s.; but where the primary duty is of less amount the progressive duty is not to exceed it. Similar reduced duties under the head Schedule, are also imposed on papers referred to in certain instruments as part thereof but not annexed. A provision is contained in the Act (section 11) that progressive duties shall not be, or be deemed to have been, chargeable on any instrument in respect of any other instrument, liable to Stamp Duty, and duly stamped, incorporated with or referred to in it; so that an old document, duly stamped per se, may be made to form a portion of a new one without being taken into account in calculating the progressive duty on the latter.

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Duplicates and Counterparts.—In the case of settlements of money and a few other instances where ad valorem duties were payable, duplicates were expressly charged with the same duties as the original instruments; and counterparts became also liable, in some cases, to the like duties; but, in general, they may be stated to have been subject to a duty of 17. 15s., except as to leases, the counterparts or duplicates of which, where the duty on the original exceeded 17., were charged with 30s. These duties are now reduced to 5s. as a maximum, with progressive duties of 2s. 6d.; the same duty, including the progressive duty, as the original, being imposed where such duty exclusive of progressive duty is less than 5s.

Memorial. The duty on a memorial for registering a deed is reduced from 10s. to 2s. 6d.

Copyhold. In all cases of sale and mortgage of copyhold property the instruments charged with ad valorem duty are, of course, liable only to the new duties; but there is one instance in which a reduction is made where the instrument was not subject to ad valorem duty. In the case of an admittance the instrument was charged with 17.; or, where the yearly value did not exceed 17., with 5s. By the new Act these duties are reduced to 2s. 6d. where the admittance proceeds upon a sale or mortgage. In all other cases the duty on an admittance remains as before.

Covenant.-A particular duty is now for the first time charged on a deed of covenant. It was, it seems, apprehended that where the ad valorem bond duty was considerable, a practice might be resorted to of executing a covenant, as a security, which would be liable only as a common deed to 17. 15s., in lieu of giving a bond; it was therefore thought proper to impose the same ad valorem duty on a deed of covenant as on a bond, where it exceeded 17. 15s. But relief is given in the case of a separate deed of covenant, executed on the sale or mortgage of any lands, for title, &c., by imposing 10s.; or less, where the duty on the conveyance is less.

Agreement. The duty of 2s. 6d. on an ordinary agreement remains as before, except that this amount is sufficient for any quantity of words less than 30 folios, instead of merely a quantity not exceeding 15 folios. But in lieu of the leap from 2s. 6d. to 17. 15s. in any excess of the latter quantity, and of 17. 5s. for every additional quantity of 15 folios, the duty is now 2s. 6d. for every such further quantity.

The advantage of this may be illustrated by the following example: suppose a contract for the performance of any work according to plans and specifications, the words and figures amounting altogether to 100 folios, the duty under the old law would have been 17. 15s., and five times 17. 5s. for five entire quantities of 15 folios after the first, making altogether 81. By the new law the duty imposed is six times 2s. 6d., making only 15s.

Charter, Precept, Resignation, and Seisin.-The duties on certain instruments in Scotland under these heads are reduced from 9s. to 5s.

Warrant of Attorney.-The duties on securities of this description are as before, the same as on bonds, with a reduction of the duty on a warrant of attorney given as a collateral security, from 17. to 5s,, where the duty on the principal instrument exceeds that amount; and also, where it is given for money exceeding 2007. for which the person giving it is under arrest. A warrant of attorney given for any other purpose than as a security for the payment of money or the

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