Information for Buyers of Vacant Land or Development Sites

Things buyers should check or do before and after purchasing vacant land or development sites.

1. Before the Transfer of Property

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

A) Make a legal requisition on the property

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 lawyer to make a legal requisition to check on any outstanding property tax.

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) File a Notice of Transfer to IRAS

The seller's lawyer will file a Notice of Transfer to IRAS within one month of the sale or property transfer .

For correspondence and payment, IRAS communicates with the owner who is listed first in the Notice of Transfer filed by the seller's lawyer. If there is a preference among owners on who IRAS should correspond with, please inform your lawyer. Your lawyer will then liaise with the seller's lawyer to ensure the Notice of Transfer is filed correctly.

2. After the Transfer of Property

Once the Notice of Transfer has been processed by IRAS, 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; or
  • The corporate owner's registered office address listed in the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) records.

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) Receive Acknowledgement Notice on Transfer of Property

IRAS will issue an Acknowledgement Notice to inform you about the updated record of ownership.

If there is any outstanding tax for your property, please arrange for payment to be made.

C) Calculate your Property Tax

Property tax is calculated by multiplying the Annual Value (AV) of your land with the prevailing property tax rate. The AV is assessed at 5% of the estimated freehold land value. The current tax rate is 10%. You can use this calculator to calculate your tax payable.

For land purchased in an en-bloc sale, please refer to the e-tax guide on Property Tax Treatment of En-Bloc Sales Sites(83KB).

D) Arrange to pay your Property Tax

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

Payment of property tax must be made within 1 month from the date of Acknowledgement Notice. You are encouraged to arrange to pay your property tax by GIRO as you will enjoy up to 12 interest-free monthly installments.

Alternatively, you can use any of the modes of payment available to pay your property tax.

E) File Property Tax Claims

You can apply for tax exemptions or relief if you satisfy the conditions under the following schemes:

  1. Approved Building Project (ABP)

A review will be carried out before 31 Mar 2017 to ensure the relevancy of the scheme.

  1. Property Tax Remission for Land Under Development for an Owner-Occupied House

3. Other Taxes Relating to Property

A) Stamp Duty

When you buy any land, you need to pay Stamp Duty within 14 days of the date of Contract/Agreement. In most instances, your lawyer acting for you in the property purchase will arrange for payment of Stamp Duty.

B) Income Tax from Rental

If you partially or fully rent out your property, your rental income is subject to income tax. Find out more on Rent from property. More information for corporate owners.

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

    Generally, the seller or transferor's lawyer will file a Notice of Transfer to IRAS within one month of the sale or property transfer .

    If the ownership records have not been updated, please check with your lawyer if the notice of transfer has been filed to IRAS.

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