27 Apr 2012
We refer to the report “Retiree’s Property Tax Bill: One Cent” (24 Apr 2012) by Ms Kezia Toh, where it was reported that a taxpayer, Mr Steven Ooi received a letter reporting that the amount he owed was one cent.
IRAS does not require payment of property tax bills if the amount is less than $5. As the first $6,000 of a property’s Annual Value is tax-exempt, some properties have property tax of less than $5. However, all taxpayers will still receive Notices to show the amount in their tax account to keep them updated of their tax balances. The Notice will also advise the taxpayer that the amount would be carried over to the next bill, and no penalties would be imposed.
We wish to clarify that the property tax bill sent to Mr Ooi was to request payment for $36.01, comprising two components. $36 was for a late payment penalty. The one-cent component arose from an objection lodged by Mr Ooi in Nov 2011 against the annual value of his property which was revised in Mar 2011. This triggered the system to recompute his property tax, resulting in the additional one cent due to rounding off to the nearest cent. A very small number of property taxpayers are similarly affected. We will tweak the system to prevent such cases in future.
Following Mr Ooi’s appeal, IRAS agreed to waive the penalty of $36. We had also informed Mr Ooi it was not necessary to pay the one cent. Despite this advice, he proceeded to send us the cheque. We have since contacted Mr Ooi to confirm that he does not need to pay the one cent, and his cheque will not be presented.
We would like to thank Mr Ooi for bringing the matter to our notice, as it had also helped to improve our systems.
Claire Chua (Mrs)
Director (Corporate Communications)
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore