Stamp duty ordinance was enacted in Sri Lanka in 1909. Thereafter in 1982 Parliament enacted No. 43 of Stamp Duty Act to provide for the imposition of stamp duty on instruments and documents and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Stamp Duties on immovable property and certain movable properties were devolved to the Provincial Councils by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and stamp duties administered by the central government was suspended with effect from 1st May 2002. The government reintroduced stamp duty and enacted Stamp Duty (Special Provisions) Act No. 12 of 2006.
Rates of Stamp Duty and exempted instruments were published by subsequent Gazette Notifications.