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Stamp duty

Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) is remitted or refunded for buyers under the following scenarios:–

Application for Remission / Refund


All applications for remission/ refund (except for purchase of HDB flats and new EC units) must be submitted to Commissioner of Stamp Duties for consideration. 

You may submit your applications, together with the relevant supporting documents to : -

Commissioner of Stamp Duties
 55 Newton Road
 Revenue House
 Singapore 307987


To apply for refund of ABSD paid on the purchase of second property by SC-SC, SC-SPR or SC-FR married couple, you may file an online application for refund at the e-Stamping website or submit a hard copy of the Application for Refund of Stamp Duties Form which can be downloaded from the e-Stamping website.

Purchase of HDB Flats and EC Units

A Singapore Citizen (SC) who purchases an HDB flat or EC as his first property does not pay any ABSD. A Singapore PR (SPR) who purchases an HDB flat as his first property pays ABSD of 5%.

ABSD remission is granted in the following scenarios : -

(i)  For purchase of HDB flat/new EC by a household which comprises SC(s) and SPR(s) co-owners
(ii) For purchase of HDB flat/new EC in cases where HDB grants the household a 6-month or such other period as may be stipulated by HDB to dispose of its existing property(ies)
(iii) A lower ABSD rate of 5% (instead of 10%) will apply for purchase of HDB flat by SPR household where HDB grants the SPR a 6-month or such other period as may be stipulated by HDB to dispose of the existing property(ies)

Remission for such purchases will be granted automatically upon approval of purchase by HDB.  No separate application to IRAS or HDB is required.

* Paragraph 10.1 of the e-Tax Guide will be updated in due course.

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Purchase by Married Couples

a) ABSD Remission

ABSD remission (by way of a lower ABSD rate or full remission) may apply to co-purchase by a married couple involving a SC spouse or  SPR spouse under certain scenarios denoted with “#” in Table 2, Table 3 and Table 4 of the ABSD Rates for Joint Purchases made by Married Couples and ABSD Refund for Purchase of Second Residential Property  (71 KB).

An application for the remission has to be submitted to IRAS. While ABSD payment can be withheld pending approval of remission, BSD cannot be withheld.

List of supporting documents to be submitted upon application:

b) ABSD Refund on Purchase of Second Residential Property

Purchase of second residential property by a married couple involving at least one SC spouse may qualify for ABSD refund subject to the following conditions : 

(i) ABSD has been paid on the second residential property;

(ii) The first property (co-owned or owned separately) is sold within 6 months from the date of purchase of the second property (if it is a completed property) or TOP/CSC (whichever is earlier) of the second property (if it is an uncompleted property);

(iii) The married couple has not purchased or acquired a third or subsequent property from the date of purchase of second property to the date of sale of the first property.

Please see the last column of Table 1, Table 2 and Table 3 of the ABSD Rates for Joint Purchases made by Married Couples and ABSD Refund for Purchase of Second Residential Property  for the applicability of the remission of ABSD paid on purchase of second property.

To apply for refund of ABSD paid on the purchase of second property, you may file an online application for refund at the e-Stamping website or submit a hard copy of the Application for Refund of Stamp Duties Form which can be downloaded from the e-Stamping website.

List of supporting documents to be submitted upon application:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Identification document
  • Acceptance to Option to Purchase / Sale and Purchase Agreement / Contract of second property
  • TOP or CSC (whichever is earlier) of second property if second property is an uncompleted property at time of purchase
  • Sale and Purchase Agreement / Assignment to sell first property

 

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Foreigners under Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)

Nationals and/or Permanent Residents of the following countries who fall within the scope of the respective FTAs will be accorded with the same treatment as SCs.  

Nationals and Permanent Residents of:-

  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Switzerland

Nationals of:-

  • United States of America

Such buyers are required to submit an application for remission so as to enjoy the same treatment as SCs.  While ABSD payment can be withheld pending approval of remission, BSD cannot be withheld.

List of supporting documents to be submitted upon application:

 

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Development Sites with 5 or More Residential Units

Remission of ABSD is allowed for development projects with more than 4 residential units, on the condition that the developer follows through the intention to develop the residential properties for sale. The developer may be eligible for remission of ABSD only if the developer is constituted as a company.

ABSD on the purchase of vacant residential land (include sites purchased from the Government), development sites, and  en-bloc purchase of residential properties for the purpose of housing development of more than 4 units,  may be remitted upfront subject to the buyer (developer) giving the undertaking to :

a) Complete development and sell all the residential units in the development within 5 years* of the date of Contract or Agreement to purchase the site.

b) Produce the Qualifying Certificate where relevant and housing developer licence within 2 years^ of the date of Contract or Agreement.

c) Produce proof of piling and foundation works and any demolition works within 2 years^ of the date of Contract or Agreement.

d) Produce proof of disposal of all residential units in the development within 5 years* of the date of Contract or Agreement to purchase the site.

*In the case of land purchased through collective sale under the Land Titles (Strata) Act on or after 1 July 2012, the 5 or 2 years conditions (as applicable) will commence from the date of the collective sale order granted under the Act.
^ In the case of land purchased through collective sale under the Land Titles (Strata) Act on or after 1 July 2012, 2 years will commence from the date of the collective sale order granted under the Act.

If conditions (b) and (c) are not met, ABSD (with interest) becomes payable immediately upon the expiry of 2 years.   

If condition (a) is not met, ABSD (with interest), becomes payable immediately upon the expiry of 5 years.

Interest is calculated at a rate of 5% per annum commencing from 14 days after the date of acquisition of the site.

The undertaking has to be given by the due date for stamping.  Please refer to the template for the Letter of Undertaking By Developers for Development of 5 or more Residential Units  (22 KB).

ABSD is payable on documents executed on payment of lease extension premium. Any request for remission of the ABSD payable on the documents executed for extension of lease on residential development sites may be considered. The approval is subject to the developer giving similar undertaking pertaining to the development and disposal of the units within the stipulated timeframe as in the case of land purchase. If the land was purchased before the implementation of ABSD, the timeframe commences from the date of Letter of Acceptance of the lease extension.

Where ABSD remission via undertaking has already been given on the purchase of the land, the ABSD on the lease extension premium paid on the same land may also be remitted subject to the same undertaking. In other words, there would be no need to give another set of undertaking.

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Development Sites with 4 or Less Residential Units

Remission of ABSD, on a case by case basis, may be allowed for development projects with 4 or less residential units, on the condition that the developer follows through the intention to develop the residential properties for sale.

The developer may be eligible for remission of ABSD only if they are companies, and lawfully carrying on the business of housing development.

ABSD on the purchase of vacant residential land (include sites purchased from the Government), development sites, and  en-bloc purchase of residential properties for the purpose of housing development of 4 or less units, may be remitted subject to conditions.  In submitting its request for remission, the buyer (developer) has to provide an undertaking to:

a) Complete development and sell all the residential units in the new development within 3 years of the date of Contract or Agreement to purchase the site.

b) Produce proof of piling and foundation works and any demolition works within 2 years of the date of Contract or Agreement.

c) Produce proof of disposal of all residential units in the development within 3 years of the date of Contract or Agreement to purchase the site.

If condition (b) is not met, ABSD (with interest) becomes payable immediately upon the expiry of 2 years.

If condition (a) is not met, ABSD (with interest), becomes payable immediately upon the expiry of 3 years.

Interest is calculated at a rate of 5% per annum commencing from 14 days after the date of acquisition of the site.

The undertaking has to be given by the due date for stamping.  Please refer to the template for the Letter of Undertaking By Developers for Development of 4 or less Residential Units  (22 KB).

Each request for remission for development projects with 4 or less residential units will be considered on its own merits. Please proceed to pay BSD while applying for remission.

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Purchase of Land by Property Developer for Development by a Related Entity

Developers may tender for land using their holding company.  When the tender is successful (referred as “first transaction”), the holding company may transfer the land to a newly incorporated or existing subsidiary (“referred as “second transaction”) to undertake the project development.  This is referred specifically as a “Conveyance Direction” to the vendor of the land to transfer the land to the subsidiary.  Such a transfer qualifies for normal BSD remission presently if the requisite conditions under the Stamp Duties (Conveyance Directions) (Remission) Rules 2005 are satisfied.

With a Conveyance Direction, the developer is unable to qualify for ABSD remission on the first transaction as the legal entity in the first transaction is not undertaking the development and hence would not be able to meet the conditions for Qualifying Developers.  The remission for developer will however cover the second transaction where the subsidiary undertakes the development and meets all the conditions for ABSD remission.

Remission of ABSD is allowed on the first and second transactions subject to the following conditions:

  • The subsidiary, being a qualifying developer, shall meet the 2-year and 5-year condition for ABSD remission purpose, from the date of the first transaction.
  • There is intention at the onset for the Conveyance Direction to be made;
  • The Conveyance Direction is made within 2 months of the first transaction;
  • The developer maintains a majority stake (more than 50% of the issued shares and voting rights) in the subsidiary from the date of first transaction to the date of issue of Temporary Occupation Permit or Certificate of Statutory Completion (whichever was issued earlier) of the development; and
  • No consideration is paid for the second transaction by the subsidiary to the holding company.
  • Buyer's stamp duty has been paid on the first transaction.

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Amalgamation of Land for Development by Property Developers

A developer may buy a second or more plots of land (referred as “second transaction”) for amalgamation with its first purchase of land for development (“referred as “first transaction”).  Such second or more plots of lands usually form part of a single development project.

In the case where the first transaction qualifies for ABSD remission, the developer may submit a request for remission in respect of subsequent purchases insofar as the additional lands under the second transaction are amalgamated and developed as part of the development on the land in the first transaction.  Each request for remission will be considered on its own merits.  If the remission were approved, the qualifying developer would have to ensure that the whole development meets the remission conditions from the date of the first transaction.

In the case where the first transaction is not subject to ABSD, remission on the second transaction may also be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the merits of each case, such as if the acquisition of the subsequent plot is contingent upon planning approval or if the plot acquired is incapable of independent development.

Please proceed to pay BSD while applying for remission.

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Treatment for Purchase of Properties During Transitional Period

If a buyer of a residential property has been granted Option to Purchase on and before 11 Jan 2013 and exercises it thereafter on or before 1 Feb 2013 (without any extension of the option validity period), the buyer may apply to IRAS for remission so that the old ABSD rate will apply.

List of supporting documents to be submitted upon application:

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Last Updated on 24 September 2013


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