Sites for Development of Four or Less Units of Housing Accommodation

ABSD remission is applicable to acquisitions of sites on or after 16 Dec 2015 for the development of four or less units of housing accommodation if the remission conditions are met.

The acquisition of sites before 6 Jul 2018 by housing developers for the development of 4 or less units is subject to 15% ABSD which may be remitted upfront subject to the conditions below.

For acquisitions of sites on/after 6 Jul 2018, housing developers are subject to 30% ABSD of which, 25% ABSD may be remitted upfront subject to the conditions below. The other 5% ABSD is non-remittable and remains payable within 14 days from the date of acquisition.

It is important for the purchasing entity to decide whether it will undertake housing development of the subject property at the point of purchase, in order to ascertain the applicable ABSD treatment. Any subsequent change of intention will not be considered for stamp duty purposes. For example, entities who have paid the ABSD rate of 25% will not qualify for the ABSD Housing Developers Remission, even if they fulfil the remission conditions subsequently. Similarly, developers who paid the ABSD rate of 5% and applied for the ABSD Housing Developers Remission cannot withdraw their application subsequently. If they are unable to meet the remission conditions, the remitted ABSD of 25% will be recovered with interest.

Please note that all buyers/ transferees (including housing developers) are required to complete the ABSD Declaration Form to be witnessed by their lawyers (if applicable). The completed form need not be submitted to IRAS, unless requested. 

Conditions for Remission

  1. The developer must be a company in the business of housing development (i.e. construction or sale of housing units).
  2. The developer follows through the intention to develop the housing development which comprises 4 or less units of housing accommodation for sale:
    • Commence housing development on the residential site within 2 years from the date of execution of the instrument (“acquisition date”).
    • Complete the housing development and sell all units of housing accommodation in the development within 3 years from the acquisition date.
  3. The developer submits the following documents to IRAS: -
    • Written undertaking (in the prescribed format) to comply with all the conditions.
    • Proof of commencement of housing development of 4 or less units of housing accommodation, including but not limited to piling, foundation or demolition works, within 2 years from the date of acquisition.
    • Proof of completion (i.e. Temporary Occupation Permit or Certificate of Statutory Completion) of housing development of 4 or less units of housing accommodation and disposal of all housing accommodation in the development within 3 years from the date of acquisition.
    • A list of all sold and unsold units with the details of buyers (names and identity numbers) as at 3 years from the acquisition date, within 3 years and 1 month from the acquisition date, in the event that not all housing accommodation in the development are sold; and
    • Any other documents or information that IRAS in relation to this remission.
  4. The developer agrees and undertakes to pay to the Commissioner of Stamp Duties as a debt due to the Singapore Government an amount equal to the ABSD remitted as a result of this undertaking, together with interest thereon at the rate of 5% per annum from 14 days after the acquisition date, if any of the above conditions are not met.
  5. The developer agrees and undertakes to pay the amount recoverable by the Commissioner under condition 4 at the place stated and in the manner provided in a notice served by the Commissioner within one month after the service of the notice by the Commissioner. 

How to Apply

  • For acquisitions made before 6 Jul 2018

There is no change to the application/e-stamping procedure. Law firms with a registered e-Stamping account may proceed to e-stamp the document and apply for ABSD remission through our e-Stamping portal as the former ABSD rates will apply.

For other applicants, email your application and the below supporting documents to estamp@iras.gov.sg within 14 days from the date of execution of the instrument:

  • For acquisitions made on/after 6 Jul 2018 where ABSD Transitional Remission applies

All applicants (including law firms) are to email the typewritten Application Form for ABSD Transitional Remission (in Word.doc format) to estamp@iras.gov.sg with the email subject “ABSD Transitional Remission - <Property Address>” within 14 days from the date of execution of the instrument. 

For applicants who declared in the application form that they are also applying for ABSD Housing Developers Remission, please include the supporting documents (i.e. options granted (if any), executed Sale Contract and prescribed Letter of Undertaking) in your email. You may wish to note that we would e-stamp the document for BSD when we process your remission for ABSD. Hence, please do not e-stamp the document for BSD separately.

Once we have processed your application, you will receive an email on the payment instructions and to download your stamp certificate after payment has been cleared.

  • For acquisitions made on/after 6 Jul 2018 where ABSD Transitional Remission does not apply

All applicants (including law firms) are to email the typewritten Application Form for ABSD Housing Developers Remission (in Word.doc format) to estamp@iras.gov.sg with the email subject “ABSD Housing Developer Remission – <Property Address>” within 14 days from the date of execution of the instrument, with the below supporting documents. If remission is granted, a payment slip for the BSD and 5% ABSD payable will be sent to you.

You will receive an email on the payment instructions and to download your stamp certificate after payment has been cleared.

This mode of application is a temporary measure while we enhance our e-Stamping system to serve you better.

List of Supporting Documents Required

  1. Executed sale and purchase agreement or acquisition document
  2. Letter of Undertaking (in the prescribed format) that the remission conditions have been or will be met
  • If our company buys a plot of residential land on 5 Jul 2018 to build 4 units of terrace houses for sale, do we need to pay ABSD on the land purchase?

    If your company buys the land on 5 Jul 2018, it is subject to 15% ABSD which may be remitted upfront (i.e. do not need to pay the ABSD upfront) if your company gives the necessary undertaking to fulfil the qualifying conditions. 

    However, if the land is acquired on/after 6 Jul 2018, your company is liable to 30% ABSD where 25% ABSD may be remitted upfront if your company gives the necessary undertaking to fulfill the qualifying conditions. The remaining 5% ABSD is non-remittable and has to be paid within 14 days from the date of acquisition

  • After we have been granted the ABSD remission upfront, is there any penalty if we are unable to fulfil any of the qualifying conditions, e.g. delay in building completion beyond the 3-year period?

    If any of the conditions is not fulfilled, ABSD will be clawed back with interest and will become payable immediately e.g. upon the expiry of the 3-year period. Any delay in the payment will be subject to the usual late payment penalty.

  • Would ABSD be clawed back if we decide to sell the development site after we have been granted the ABSD remission?

    If the land is resold, ABSD will be clawed back with interest and will become payable immediately since your company failed to fulfil the condition to develop and sell all the units in the development.

  • Are residential units in the project sold to staff, directors, subsidiaries and related companies considered as due disposal?

    Yes, they are considered as due disposal. The stamp duty payable should be based on the price or market value of the property, whichever is higher.

  • What is the commencement date of the 2 year and 3 year conditions for a residential site which was acquired through a collective sale under the Land Titles (Strata) Act?

    The commencement date is the date of Contract or Agreement for the collective sale but we are prepared to consider, on a case-by-case basis, to allow the 2 year and 3 year conditions to commence from the following date:

    1. Where there is a Collective Sale Order (CSO) issued and no appeal to the Court, the date of CSO.
    2. Where there is an appeal to the High Court but not the Court of Appeal, the date of High Court’s approval.
    3. Where there is an appeal to the High Court and the Court of Appeal, the date of Court of Appeal’s approval.

    If your company would like to make an application to treat the commencement date of the 2 year and 3 year conditions as the date of CSO, please submit a cover letter and a copy of the CSO to eStamp@iras.gov.sg within 14 days from the date of CSO.

    Where an appeal to the High Court or the Court of Appeal (as the case may be) is involved, a further application to treat the commencement date as the date of approval from the High Court or Court of Appeal would be required.

  • A company purchased a residential / mixed-residential property on 1 Aug 2018 for the purpose of commercial development, and hence paid 25% ABSD upfront. The company subsequently changes its intent and decides to use the residential / mixed-residential property for the purpose of housing development. Will the entity be granted remission of the 25% ABSD, subject to conditions, similar to all other housing developers?

    A company that did not purchase the residential/ mixed-residential property for the purpose of housing development, as ascertained at the point of purchase, would not be subject to the additional 5% non-remittable ABSD for housing developers. Accordingly, it will not be able to avail itself to the ABSD remission for housing developers, as it does not qualify as a housing developer for stamp duty purposes.

  • A company purchased a residential property for housing development on 1 Aug 2018 but intend to sell after 5 years. Is the company liable to 25% or 30% ABSD? Would it qualify for ABSD Housing Developers Remission?

    The company is liable to pay 30% ABSD because it is acquiring the subject property for the construction and sale of housing units. It would not qualify for the ABSD Housing Developers Remission if it chooses to sell the housing accommodations after 5 years.

  • A company purchased a residential property for housing development on 1 Aug 2018 and have obtained ABSD Housing Developers Remission. Would the company be able to withdraw its application of the ABSD Housing Developers Remission subsequently?

    No, as the company’s intent at the point of purchase was for housing development (i.e. construction and sale of housing units) with respect to the subject property acquired. The remitted 25% ABSD would be recovered with interest if it fails to satisfy the remission conditions.

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