9 Sep 2008
We refer to the letter, "房地产税又涨了" (3 Sep 08) by 蒋兆禄先生 who was concerned about the recent increase in his property tax owing to the increase in annual value of his property. He suggested that property tax should only be raised for property owners who rent out their properties and not for property owners who live in their properties.
Property tax, which is imposed in most countries, is a tax on property ownership. It is levied irrespective of whether the property is owner-occupied or rented out, and even if it is left vacant. The general property tax rate is at 10%. However, to encourage home ownership, owner-occupiers of residential properties currently pay a concessionary property tax rate of 4% instead. In addition, they will enjoy $100 (or the actual property tax, whichever is lower) property tax rebate annually for 2008 and 2009. This rebate is on top of on-going property tax rebates of $25-$150 for owner-occupied properties with AVs below $10,000. Together, these rebates offset the property tax of most HDB properties, especially the smaller HDB flats.
IRAS generally reviews the AVs of properties annually to ensure that they reflect the prevailing market rents of comparable properties. If the rentals of the comparable properties rise, the AVs of the property concerned will be raised. Conversely, if rentals decline, AVs will be reduced. In Mr Chiong's case, the AV for his private property was revised in Aug 2008. The last revision of AV for the property was in Nov 2006. The AV revision in Aug 2008 for Mr Chiong's property is well-supported by rental data for comparable properties since Nov 2006.
The public may log into myTax Portal at https://mytax.iras.gov.sg with their SingPass or IRAS PIN if they wish to make an objection to the revised AV of their property. Alternatively, they may contact IRAS at 1800-356 8600 for clarifications.
Chin Sau Ho
Director (Corporate Communications and Services)
Ministry of Finance
Director (Corporate Communications Branch)
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore