Information for Buyers of HDB/ DBSS Flats

Things buyers should check or do before and after purchasing a HDB/DBSS flat.

1. Before the Transfer of Property

Your HDB officer or lawyer usually performs the following tasks as part of conveyancing or the legal process of transferring ownership of property. Please check with your lawyer or HDB officer to find out more about the status of the tasks.

A) Check on outstanding property tax

Once the property is transferred to you, you will be liable for any outstanding property tax including arrears that should have been paid by the previous owner. Thus, it is important for your HDB officer or lawyer to check with IRAS on any outstanding property tax.

For newly constructed HDB flats, IRAS will bill you for the property tax that starts from the date you take possession of the flat. For DBSS flats, billing will start from the date of temporary occupation permit (TOP).

B) Apportion property tax between you and the seller

If there is an outstanding tax amount, your HDB officer or lawyer will assist you to settle the outstanding amount with the seller. Your HDB officer or lawyer will also apportion the current year tax between the seller and yourself. IRAS does not apportion property tax liabilities between the parties.

C) Notify Change of Ownership

HDB will notify IRAS of the transfer of the HDB flat. You need not notify IRAS. IRAS will update the ownership record for property tax purpose based on the information given.

For correspondence and payment, IRAS communicates with the owner who is the main applicant listed in the purchase of the flat. If there is a preference among owners on who IRAS should correspond with, please ensure that you are registered as the main applicant.

2. After the Transfer of Property

Once HDB has notified IRAS of the transfer, the record of ownership will be updated for property tax purposes.

A) Update your address                                             

IRAS sends the property tax bill or notice to the address listed on your identity card. To receive all your correspondence promptly, please ensure that your address is updated. Please see change mailing address if you need to update your address.

B) Automatic Application of Owner-Occupier Tax Rates

Owners who live in their homes enjoy lower property tax rates. You do not need to apply for the owner-occupier tax rates as it will be automatically applied.  For more details, please refer to Lower Property Tax Rates for Owner Occupied Residential Properties .

C) Calculate your Property Tax

To calculate the annual property tax payable, multiply the Annual Value (AV) of the property with the set of Property Tax Rates that applies to you. You can use this calculator to calculate your tax payable.

D) Arrange to pay your Property Tax

When there is more than one owner, all the owners are collectively responsible for paying property tax.

You are encouraged to arrange to pay your property tax by GIRO to enjoy up to 12 interest-free monthly instalments.

Alternatively, you can opt for one-time GIRO deductions or use any of the modes of payment available to pay your property tax.

3. Other Taxes Relating to Property

A) Stamp Duty

When you buy any property, you need to pay Stamp Duty within 14 days of the date of Contract/Agreement. HDB has been authorised by IRAS to collect stamp duty on its behalf.

B) Income Tax from Rental

Rent received from fully or partially renting out your flat is subject to income tax. Find out more on Rent from property .

  • How do I inform IRAS after I have purchased a property?

    HDB will inform IRAS on the change of ownership, thus you do not have to inform IRAS separately.
  • I have bought a new DBSS flat and my date of tax liability is 5 Nov. Why has IRAS taxed me from date of Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) i.e. 8 Aug?

    Newly completed properties are taxed from the TOP date. Under the law, property tax is a charge on the property. Hence, the current owners need to pay any outstanding tax including any amount payable prior to the date of transfer of the property. This means that although you only took possession of the property on 5 Nov (date of tax liability), you are liable for the property tax for the period with effect from 8 Aug, the date of TOP.

    Buyers can claim the reimbursement of the property tax from the Building Service Centre (BSC) set up at site. Hence, please liaise with the developer for the reimbursement of tax (i.e. 8 Aug to 4 Nov) from the developer, if this has not been done.

  • I only took the keys of the property from the developer on 3 Dec. Why is IRAS taxing me from 15 Nov when I have not collected the keys back then?

    HDB will notify IRAS on the date of your tax liability.

    If the information is incorrect, please inform your HDB officer or lawyer to correct the information submitted to IRAS.

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