Documentary Stamp Tax Law and Legal Definition

Documentary stamp tax refers to a levy on documents, evidencing the acceptance, assignment, sale or transfer of an obligation, right or property incident to it. It is usually collected at the time of registration of the document with the recording authority. Documents subject to the tax include deeds, bonds, notes and written obligations to pay money and mortgages, liens, and other evidences of indebtedness.

In Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative, Inc. v. Green, 123 So. 2d 357 (Fla. 1st DCA 1960), the court held that the documentary stamp tax is an excise tax on the promise to pay, and the terms and certainty of payment are not material. It is an excise levied upon transactions of which the documents described in the act are merely a part, and not a tax upon the documents themselves. The document is merely evidence of the transaction to which is attached the stamp showing payment of the tax imposed.