Things buyers should check or do before and after purchasing private residential property.

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.

You may also check our infographic on the overview of what to look out for before and after purchase of a private residential property.

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.

For newly constructed properties, IRAS will bill you for the property tax that starts from the date of temporary occupation permit (TOP) within 1 year of TOP.

B) Apportion property tax between you and the seller

If there is an outstanding tax amount, your lawyer will assist you to settle the outstanding amount with the seller. Your 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 1 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) Automatic Application of Owner-Occupier Tax Rates

Owners who live in their homes enjoy lower property tax rates. The Acknowledgement Notice will inform you if your property has been granted the owner-occupier tax rates. If you have another residential property granted the owner-occupier tax rates, the concession will not be automatically applied. You will have to apply for the owner-occupier tax rates once you have moved into the property.

For more details, please refer to Lower Property Tax Rates for Owner Occupied Residential Properties .

D) 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.

E) Arrange to pay your Property Tax

When there is more than 1 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 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. In most instances, your lawyer acting on your behalf in purchasing the property 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 Income from property rented out.


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 1 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.

I have bought new property 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.
Your lawyer would usually assist you in seeking the reimbursement of property tax from the developer. Please liaise with your lawyer 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?

The date of your tax liability is indicated in the notice of transfer filed by the developer's lawyer. If the information is incorrect, please inform your lawyer to correct the information submitted to IRAS.