Stamp duty can be termed as a tax that is levied on documents about purchases of immovable property, shares, stocks, etc. In Singapore, stamp duty is collected by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). IRAS is also responsible for your income and property tax. Here are the dutiable documents
When a property is purchased in Singapore, BSD or Buyer’s Stamp Duty is to be paid. Buyer’s Stamp Duty is computed using the purchase price or the current market value of the asset or property (whichever is higher). The market value of the property is usually assessed by a property evaluator.
For instance, say you are planning to buy any property in Singapore from a property developer who is offering you a cash discount. If the cash benefit is mentioned in the contract document to be stamped, the discount amount offered will be subtracted from the buying price.
If the dutiable document does not have any cash-related benefits (furniture vouchers, lucky draw, car), the purchase price remains the same. This means that the benefits included will not reduce the buying price of the asset or property. In cases where there is no cash or non-monetary benefits in the document (to be stamped), the value of the benefit cannot be subtracted from the buying price. BSD has to be paid within 14 days. You should comply with the following conditions:
As mentioned above, BSD is calculated on the market value of the property or considering the purchase price (whichever is greater). Let us take a look at the table below for information on how BSD is calculated:
|Current market value of the property or purchase price||BSD rate calculation|
|For the first S$180,000||1%|
|For the next S$180,000||2%|
|For the remaining amount||3%|
When you are acquiring or purchasing several properties, stamp duty will be based on the total purchase price you would have paid for all these properties collectively. However, the following conditions have to be met:
When there is one contract involved while purchasing many properties (followed by individual documents), the contract should be computed on the total purchase price and should be stamped at ad valorem duty.
You may have many documents that include purchasing agreements that are dependent on one another. In these scenarios, one of the documents need to be registered for stamping at ad valorem duty based on the total buying price of all the involving properties.
Property buyers in Singapore are required to pay Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) apart from paying Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD). Calculation is done based on the property purchase price or the property’s current market value (whichever is greater).
The profile of the buyer (at the date of purchase or acquisition of the residential property) is considered at the time of determining the ABSD liability:
Refer to the table below for information on how the rates and computation are calculated for ABSD:
|Buyer’s profile||Applicable BSD rates||ABSD rates from 8th Dec 2011 to 11st Jan 2013||ABSD rates applicable from 12 January 2013|
|Singapore citizens who are buying their first residential property||
|Singapore citizens who are purchasing their second residential property||NA||7%|
|Singapore citizen who is buying a third property||3%||10%|
|Singapore Permanent Residents who are buying their first residential property||NA||5%|
|Singapore Permanent Residents buying their second residential property||3%||10%|
|Foreigners who are buying any residential properties||10%||15%|
You can get ABSD exemptions or a refund under the following conditions:
Seller’s Stamp Duty for all residential lands or properties can be paid if the purchases are made on or after 20 February 2010 and disposed within the holding period.
The liability for SSD can be determined using the factors below. The SSD rate that is payable will depend on:
SSD rate is calculated by applying the necessary SSD rate on the market price of the property or the selling price at the time of disposal (whichever is greater).
|Property purchase date||Holding period||SSD rate computed considering the actual property price or market value (whichever is higher)|
|Between 20 February 2010 and 29 August 2010 (all inclusive)||Up to 1 year||1% is charged on the first S$180,000 2% is charged on the next S$180,000 3% is charged on the remainder|
|More than 1 year||No SSD is applicable|
|Between 30 August 2010 and 13 January 2011 (all inclusive)||Up to 1 year||1% is charged on the first S$180,000 2% is charged on the subsequent S$180,000 3% is charged on the remainder|
|More than 1 year and up to 2 years||0.67% is charged on the first S$180,000 1.33% is charged on the next S$180,000 2% is charged on the remainder|
|More than 2 years and up to 3 years||0.33% is charged on the first S$180,000 0.67% is charged on the next S$180,000 1% is applicable on the remainder|
|More than 3 years||No SSD is applicable|
|Between 14 January 2011 and 10 March 2017 (all inclusive)||Up to 1 year||16%|
|More than 1 year and up to 2 years||12%|
|More than 2 years and up to 3 years||8%|
|More than 3 years and up to 4 years||4%|
|More than 4 years||No SSD is applicable|
|From 11 March 2017 onwards||Up to 1 year||12%|
|More than 1 year and up to 2 years||8%|
|More than 2 years and up to 3 years||4%|
|More than 3 years||No SSD is applicable|
Note: In cases where stamp duties are related to several matters, stamp duty is applicable for each matter.
Before signing a document, you will need to stamp it. If your document is signed and has been stamped within the time frame mentioned below, no penalties will be applicable.
Your dutiable documents can be stamped using the options mentioned below:
In cases where you do not comply with the conditions and the deadline, you can be penalised with a payment of up to 4 times the value of the document. Penalties imposed could be relating to documents that have been stamped on a later date or remain unstamped, or are insufficiently stamped. Any document wherein the stamp duty is due or unpaid is considered as an offence.
Q. What if I buy a residential property with someone who already has another home. How much ABSD am I required to pay?
A. In a scenario where a property is jointly acquired, the profile with the highest ABSD rate will be applicable.
Q. Am I eligible to purchase a property from a company or a trust?
A. Yes, you can purchase a property from a company or a trust. The ABSD rate of a non-individual is applicable.
Q. I purchased a property that was under construction and I am yet to receive my title deed. Do I have to pay ABSD if I purchase another residential property?
A. A property is taken into consideration only when a contract or agreement of purchase is signed. Since the property you have purchased is not legally transferred in your name, paying ABSD will not be applicable.
Q. I own half shares in two different properties. Will I be considered as owning 1 full property if I choose to buy another one?
A. The 2 different properties you own cannot be considered as owning 1 full property although you own half shares in each of them. They are considered as 2 different properties (regardless of whether you own a partial or a full share).
Q. What if I own a property on behalf of someone else. Do I have to pay ABSD if I need to purchase another property?
A. The property will be considered in the count of properties you own if it is held by a trust (if you are a beneficial owner).
Q. If 2 properties are purchased together, do I have to pay ABSD?
A. If you purchase more than 1 property under a single contract, each property you own will be considered separately. Also, the buyer can choose to subject the property to ABSD.
Q. I received my property through a will that was passed down to me. Will my existing property be regarded as 1 property if I wish to buy another one?
A. Any property that is acquired or transferred as a gift, settlement, release, declaration trust letter of authority and exchange will be considered as owning a property (in your name).