One of the many additional costs associated with buying property is stamp duty. Stamp duty refers to the tax on documents relating to the purchase or lease of a property, payable to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). Virtually all residential property transactions — including buying, selling and renting property — in Singapore are subject to stamp duty, although there are some exceptions. Stamp duty can add up to quite a hefty sum of money, so be sure to factor in the stamp duty in your financial considerations. To do so, read on to learn more about the different types of stamp duty and how much you’re liable to pay.
[This article has been updated on 6 July 2018 to reflect the latest round of ABSD increase.]
Stamp duty for property buyers
Buyer’s stamp duty (BSD)
Those who purchase property in Singapore are required to pay BSD for the documents executed for said purchase. The BSD is computed on the purchase price as stated in the document to be stamped or the market value of the property — whichever is higher.
The BSD was recently revised on 20th February 2018, and the current rates are as follows:
If you’re a Singaporean purchasing a residential property that costs $800,000, for example.
1% x $180,000 = $1,800
2% x $180,000 = $3,600
3% x $440,000 = $13,200
Total BSD payable = $18,600
Additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD)
In addition to BSD, ABSD is levied on:
- Singaporeans purchasing their second and subsequent residential properties
- Permanent Residents purchasing their first and subsequent residential properties, and
- Foreigners and non-individuals purchasing any residential property
The rates for ABSD are as follows:
A Singaporean purchasing his/her second residential property that costs $800,000, for instance, will have to pay an ABSD of:
12% x $800,000 = $96,000
Using this example, this means the buyer would need to pay a stamp duty total of BSD + ABSD: $18,600 + $96,000= $114,600 (14.3% of purchase price of $800,000)
Exceptions and remissions:
Nationals and PRs of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, as well as US Nationals are accorded the same Stamp Duty treatment as Singapore Citizens. As such, these individuals may apply for remission of ABSD when buying their first residential property in Singapore.
Remission of ABSD may be applicable for married couples who purchase a second residential property jointly. To learn more, click here.
Stamp duty for property sellers
Seller’s stamp duty (SSD)
Those who purchase residential land or property on or after 20 Feb 2010, and sell them within the holding period are liable to pay Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD).
For property purchased before 13 Jan 2011, the rates are as follows:
For property purchased between 14 Jan 2011 and 10 Mar 2017, the rates are as follows:
And for property purchased on or after 11 Mar 2017, the rates are as follows:
Exceptions and remissions:
Those who are exempt from the SSD include:
- Residential property owners whose properties are acquired by the Government under the Land Acquisitions Act
- Individuals who are required to dispose of their properties as a result of bankruptcy
- Companies who dispose of their properties upon involuntary winding up
- Foreigners who are selling their residential properties under the Residential Properties Act
- Individuals who return their flats to HDB as a result of re-possession or the Selective Enbloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS)
- Individuals who inherits an HDB flat, but is required by HDB to dispose of the flat
- Individuals who own an HDB flat, and upon marrying a person who owns another HDB flat, is required by HDB regulations to dispose of either one of the flats
Stamp duty for rental
Last but not least, those who are renting property within Singapore are also liable to pay stamp duty on their leases. The stamp duty is to be paid whenever an individual rents a property, or signs a contract to renew or extend their current lease.
The amount payable is dependent on the Average Annual Rent (AAR), which is computed based on the monthly rent and lease period.
Assuming a monthly rent of $3,500 and a lease period of 24 months for example, the AAR and lease duty rates would work out to be:
AAR: $3,500 x 24 months = $84,000.
Lease duty rates: 0.4% x $84,000 = $336
When do I pay stamp duty?
Technically, you are required to stamp a document (e.g. Sale & Purchase Agreement, Tenancy Agreement) before you sign it. However, the common practice is to sign the document first, followed by getting the document stamped within the following time frame:
- Within 14 days after signing the document if it is signed in Singapore or
- Within 30 days after receiving the document in Singapore if the document is signed overseas
The late payment of stamp duty is subject to penalties.
How do I pay stamp duty?
Stamping of documents are done online via the IRAS e-stamping portal. This requires Singpass two-factor authentication (2FA).
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