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Stamp Duty

What is Stamp Duty?

Stamp Duty is a tax on dutiable documents relating to any immovable property (“property”) in Singapore and any stock or shares.

There are three types of duties payable on the sale, purchase, acquisition or disposal of properties in Singapore:

  • Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD)
  • Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD)
  • Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD)

Buyers’ Stamp Duty (for residential properties)

BSD is payable on the purchase or acquisition of properties. 

Purchase price or market value of residential properties Percentage
First $180,000
1%
Next $180,000
2%
Next $640,000
3%
Remaining amount
4%

Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duties (ABSD)

If you buy or acquire residential properties (including residential land) on or after 8 Dec 2011, ABSD may also be applicable. The ABSD rates vary depending on the profile of the buyer.

ABSD for purchases of residential properties on or after 6 July 2018 Percentage
Entities buying first and subsequent residential property plus Additional 5% for Housing Developers (non-remittable)
25% (+5%)
Foreigners buying first and subsequent residential property
20%
Singapore PR buying a first residential property
5%
Singapore PR buying second and subsequent residential property
15%
Singaporean Citizens buying a second residential property
12%
Singaporean Citizens buying third and subsequent residential property
15%

Note:

Housing Developers refer to entities in the business of housing development (i.e. construction and sale of housing units) with respect to the subject property acquired. 

2 This 5% ABSD for Housing Developers is in addition to the 25% ABSD for all entities. This 5% will not be remitted, and is to be paid upfront upon purchase of residential property.

For acquisitions made jointly by more than 1 party of different profiles, the ABSD rate applicable will be based on the profile with the highest ABSD rate on the entire property value acquired.

For Housing Developers

For acquisitions of sites on/after 6 Jul 2018, housing developers are subject to 30% ABSD of which, 25% ABSD may be remitted upfront subject to the conditions below. The other 5% ABSD is non-remittable and remains payable within 14 days from the date of acquisition.

* It is important for the purchasing entity to decide whether it will undertake housing development of the subject property at the point of purchase, in order to ascertain the applicable ABSD treatment. Any subsequent change of intention will not be considered for stamp duty purposes. For example, entities who have paid the ABSD rate of 25% will not qualify for the ABSD Housing Developers Remission, even if they fulfil the remission conditions subsequently. Similarly, developers who paid the ABSD rate of 5% and applied for the ABSD Housing Developers Remission cannot withdraw their application subsequently. If they are unable to meet the remission conditions, the remitted ABSD of 25% will be recovered with interest.

Conditions for housing development of 4 or less units of housing accommodation for sale:

Where purchaser is the housing developer

The developer must be a company in the business of housing development (i.e. construction and sale of housing units). The developer follows through the intention to develop the housing development which comprises 4 or less units of housing accommodation for sale: Commence housing development on the residential site within 2 years from the date of execution of the instrument (“acquisition date”) Complete the housing development and sell all units of housing accommodation in the development within 3 years from the acquisition date

Where purchaser intended for the site to be transferred to a housing developer

The developer must be a company in the business of housing development (i.e. construction and sale of housing units). The developer follows through the intention to develop the housing development which comprises 4 or less units of housing accommodation for sale: Commence housing development on the residential site within 2 years from the date of execution of the instrument (“acquisition date”) Complete the housing development and sell all units of housing accommodation in the development within 3 years from the acquisition date

Conditions for housing development of 5 or more units of housing accommodation for sale:

Where purchaser is the housing developer

The developer must be a company and a licensed housing developer. The developer follows through the intention to develop the housing development which comprises 5 or more units of housing accommodation for sale: Commence housing development on the residential site within 2 years from the date of execution of the instrument (“acquisition date”) Complete the housing development and sell all units of housing accommodation in the development within 5 years from the acquisition date

Where purchaser intended for the site to be transferred to a housing developer

At the point of contract, there is a clear intention that the purchaser wants the property to be transferred to a housing developer incorporated (or to be incorporated) by the purchaser The conveyance direction is made not more than 2 months after the date of the contract No consideration has passed between the purchaser and the company The purchaser has beneficial interest in more than 50% of the share capital and voting rights in the housing developer from the date of purchase to the date of the issue of the Temporary Occupation Permit or Certificate of Statutory Completion for all units of housing accommodation in the development.

Sellers’ Stamp Duty (SSD)

Sellers of properties do not normally have any stamp duty obligations, unless they sell residential/industrial properties after a short holding period.

The applicable SSD rates can be summarized below

SSD for residential properties bought from 20 February 2010 Percentage
Property disposed of within one year of purchase
12%
Property disposed of within >1 year and up to 2 years of purchase
8%
Property disposed of within >1 year and up to 2 years of purchase
4%

Written by: Andra Lim (by Assembly Works)

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