IMPORTANT: On 8 May 2022, the Government announced that ABSD of 35% will apply on any transfer of residential property into a living trust i.e. a trust that is created by a person during his or her lifetime, with effect from 9 May 2022. This will be known as ABSD (Trust).
Residential properties transferred into trusts for housing developers will continue to be subject to the ABSD rate of 40% (i.e. 5% non-remittable, plus 35% remitted upfront subject to conditions).
Liable buyers are required to pay ABSD on top of the existing Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD). ABSD and BSD are computed on the purchase price as stated in the dutiable document or the market value of the property (whichever is the higher amount).
All buyers / transferees (i.e. individuals, entities 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 but it should be retained for at least 5 years from the date of purchase / acquisition of the property as IRAS may request for it for audit purposes.
Determining ABSD Liability
The ABSD liability will depend on the profile of the buyer as at the date of purchase or acquisition of the residential property:
A. Whether the buyer is an individual or an entity
B. The profile of the buyer
C. The count of residential properties owned by the buyer (including residential property beneficially owned and held in trust) and D. Whether the residential property is to be held in a living trust
Date of Purchase or Acquisition refers to the earliest of
- Date of execution of the Acceptance to the Option to Purchase or
- Date of Sale & Purchase Agreement or
- Date of instrument which places the residential property on trust or
- Date of transfer where (1), (2) and (3) are not available nor applicable.
Changes relating to Residential Properties held on Trust - ABSD (Trust)
Any conveyance, assignment or transfer on sale of residential property to a trustee to hold on trust and any instrument chargeable in like manner will be subject to the ABSD (Trust) rate of 35%.
For the purposes of stamp duty, the date of document of the purchase instrument will be taken as the date on which the document is signed (i.e. the Acceptance to Option to Purchase/Sale and Purchase Agreement should be signed on the date it is to be executed and delivered to the Vendor). The trust instrument should also be signed, sealed and delivered on the day it is to be executed.
Remission of ABSD (Trust) may be provided via a refund where the conveyance, assignment or transfer on sale of residential property to a person i.e. trustee, is held on trust for one or more identifiable individual beneficiaries only (whether or not the conveyance, transfer or assignment is also made to another person).
The amount remitted will be based on the difference between the ABSD (Trust) rate of 35% and ABSD rate corresponding to the profile of the beneficial owner with the highest applicable ABSD rate. ABSD (Trust) of 35% is to be paid upfront, and an application for the refund must be made to IRAS within six months after the date of execution of the instrument.
Please refer to the page on Remission of ABSD (Trust)
for more details on the remission conditions.
Residential properties transferred into trusts for housing developers will continue to be subject to ABSD rate of 40% (5% non-remittable; plus 35% remitted upfront subject to conditions).
A. Whether the Buyer is an Individual or an Entity
- An unincorporated association
- A trustee for a collective investment scheme when acting in that capacity
- A trustee-manager for a business trust when acting in that capacity
- The partners of the partnership whether or not any of them is an individual, where the property conveyed, transferred or assigned is to be held as partnership property
If a property is jointly purchased by buyers of different profiles, the profile with the highest ABSD rate will apply on the entire value purchased.
B. The Profile of the Buyer
The applicable ABSD rate is based on the profile of the buyer on the date of purchase. You must have been granted the Singapore Citizenship status or Singapore Permanent Resident status by the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) as at the date of property purchase in order to enjoy lower ABSD liability. The date of issue reflected in the IC collection slip would be taken as when the status was granted.
C. The Count of Residential Properties Owned by the Buyer
1. Count from Date of Contract or Agreement
If a Contract or an Agreement to purchase the property has been signed, that property is to be included in the count of properties owned by a buyer (A) from the date of acceptance of the agreement, even if it has not been legally transferred to him as he already has an equitable interest in the property.
This also includes the purchase of an uncompleted unit from the developer if the Sale & Purchase Agreement has been signed.
Similarly, the property is to be excluded from the count of properties owned by a buyer (A) if there is already a Contract or an Agreement to sell his property and the new buyer (B) has executed his option to buy the property.
2. Full Count for Partial Ownership and Joint Ownership
3. Property held on Trust
4. Purchase of Multiple Properties in One Transaction
Although many properties may be bought under a single contract, each property will be counted as a separate property. Where applicable, the buyer may choose any one of the multiple properties to be subject to ABSD. For example, if a Singapore Citizen who does not own any residential property decides to purchase two residential properties in one contract, he may choose any one of the units to be subject to ABSD.
If multiple properties are jointly purchased by buyers of different profiles, each property will be counted as a separate property and the profile with the highest ABSD rate will apply on each property as if the buyers are acquiring the properties jointly under separate instruments. For example, a Singapore Citizen who owns one residential property decides to purchase three residential properties ("Property A, B and C") together with a Singapore Permanent Resident who does not own any residential property, in a single contract. The ABSD rates applicable on the purchase of Property A, B and C are 17%^, 25%* and 30%# respectively.
^17% because Property A is the Singapore Citizen's second residential property, whose profile is higher than his co-purchaser's (Singapore Permanent Resident's first residential property).
*25% because Property B is the Singapore Citizen's third residential property and the Singapore Permanent Resident's second residential property. Both profiles attract a 25% ABSD rate.
#30% because Property C is the Singapore Permanent Resident's third residential property, whose profile is higher than his co-purchaser's (Singapore Citizen's third and subsequent property).
5. Properties acquired to be included in the property count
6. HDB Shop with Living Quarters and Shophouse
7. Exclusion of Properties Gazetted for Compulsory Acquisition
8. Exclusion of Properties Located Outside Singapore
Rates and Computation
ABSD Rates on the higher of the purchase price or market value
|Profile of Buyer||ABSD Rates from 12 Jan 2013 to 5 Jul 2018||ABSD Rates from 6 Jul 2018 to 15 Dec 2021||ABSD Rates on or after 16 Dec 2021|
|Singapore Citizens (SC) buying first residential property1||Not applicable||Not applicable||Not applicable|
|SC buying second residential property1||7%||12%||17%|
|SC buying third and subsequent residential property1||10%||15%||25%|
|Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) buying first residential property1||5%||5%||5%|
|SPR buying second residential property1||10%||15%||25%|
|SPR buying third and subsequent residential property1||10%||15%||30%|
|Foreigners (FR) buying any residential property1||15%||20%||30%|
|Entities2buying any residential property1||15%|
|Housing Developers3 buying any residential property1||15%|
(Plus Additional 5% (non-remittable)5)
(Plus Additional 5% (non-remittable)5)
From 9 May 2022 onwards, any transfer of residential property into a living trust will be subject to an ABSD rate of 35%.
|Profile of Buyer||ABSD Rates on or after 9 May 2022|
|Trustee6 buying any residential property1||35%|
ABSD is to be rounded down to the nearest dollar, subject to a minimum duty of $1.
1 Whether owned wholly, partially or jointly with others.
2 An Entity means a person who is not an individual. It includes the following:
- An unincorporated association,
- A trustee for a collective investment scheme when acting in that capacity,
- A trustee-manager for a business trust when acting in that capacity
- The partners of the partnership whether or not any of them is an individual, where the property conveyed, transferred or assigned is to be held as partnership property.
3 Housing Developers refer to entities in the business of housing development (i.e. construction and sale of housing units) with respect to the subject property acquired. These include trustees for housing developers, which will continue to be subject to the same ABSD rate as Housing Developers.
4 As entities, Housing Developers will also be subject to the ABSD rate for entities as follows:
- For the period from 6 Jul 2018 to 15 Dec 2021, Housing Developers will be subject to the ABSD rate of 25%.
- For the period on or after 16 Dec 2021, Housing Developers will be subject to the ABSD rate of 35%.
Housing Developers may apply for remission of this 25% or 35% ABSD, subject to conditions.
5 This 5% ABSD for Housing Developers is in addition to the 25% (from 6 Jul 2018 to 15 Dec 2021) or 35% (on or after 16 Dec 2021) ABSD (whichever is applicable) for all entities and trustees. This 5% will not be remitted, and is to be paid upfront upon purchase of residential property.
6 Trustee refers to a trustee of any trust when acting in that capacity, but excludes the following:
- Trustee for a collective investment scheme when acting in that capacity;
- Trustee-manager for a business trust when acting in that capacity; and
- Trustee for a housing developer when acting in that capacity.
Example: A Foreigner purchases a unit at a market value of $2 million on 16 Dec 2021 and the ABSD rate of 30% applies.
|Computation of ABSD|
|30% of $2,000,000||= $600,000|
All entities will be subject to the new ABSD rate of 35%. In addition, Housing Developers are subject to an additional non-remittable ABSD rate of 5% upon stamping, i.e. aggregate ABSD rate of 40%. Such developers may apply for remission on the ABSD rate of 35% under the ABSD remission for development of 4 or less units of housing accommodation or ABSD remission for development of 5 or more units of housing accommodation.
Entities who are acquiring residential properties with no intention to carry out housing development (i.e. construction and sale of housing units) with respect to the subject property acquired should pay the ABSD rate of 35%.
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 35% 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 35% will be recovered with interest.
Changes to ABSD Treatment for Trusts
Why is the Government introducing ABSD (Trust)?
Some living trusts may be structured such that there is no identifiable beneficial owner at the time when the residential property is transferred into the trust. Before the introduction of ABSD (Trust), ABSD would not apply in such a situation. To promote a stable and sustainable residential property market, the Government has thus introduced ABSD (Trust) of 35%, which will apply for any conveyance, assignment or transfer on sale of residential property into a living trust irrespective of whether there are identifiable beneficial owners of the property. ABSD (Trust) will apply on any such conveyance, assignment or transfer on sale of residential property into living trusts, where the transfer occurs on or after 9 May 2022.
Will ABSD (Trust) be retrospectively imposed for all Singapore residential properties that are held on trust before the effective date of ABSD (Trust)?
ABSD (Trust) is applicable to any transfer of residential property into a living trust (including existing trusts), where any of these are executed on or after 9 May 2022.
Thus, ABSD (Trust) will not be applicable where the residential property was already held on trust before 9 May 2022.
Why is there a remission of ABSD (Trust)?
With ABSD (Trust), will the residential property transferred into the trust be added to the property count of the beneficial owner?
The residential property transferred into the trust will be added to property count of any identifiable beneficial owner of that property, regardless of whether there is a remission of ABSD (Trust).
How do I stamp documents liable to ABSD (Trust)?
2021 ABSD Rate Increase
Why is the Government introducing cooling measures for the private residential market now?
The private residential market has been buoyant, despite the economic impact of COVID-19. Private housing prices have risen by about 9% since 1Q2020. Even though House Price-to-Income ratio remain below the historical average, there is clear upward momentum. Amid the low interest rate environment, transaction volumes in the private housing market have also been high despite the COVID-19 situation. If left unchecked, prices could run ahead of economic fundamentals, and raise the risk of a destabilising correction later on. Borrowers would also be vulnerable to a possible rise in interest rates in the coming years.
The Government has therefore decided to implement a set of measures to cool the private residential market. The measures are calibrated to dampen broad-based demand, especially from those purchasing property for investment instead of owner-occupation.
For purchase by Singapore Citizens (SC)
I am an SC currently owning only one private apartment. I am considering selling it and buying a terrace house. Do I have to pay ABSD when I buy the terrace house?
If you have contracted to sell your only apartment before you execute the Acceptance to the Option to Purchase for the terrace house, you do not need to pay ABSD.
But if you have not contracted to sell your apartment, your purchase of the terrace house will be your second property on which you need to pay ABSD at 17%.
I am a SC currently owning a private flat. If I were to downgrade to an HDB resale flat, do I have to pay ABSD on the HDB resale flat?
My wife and I are SC and we jointly own an apartment. We intend to jointly purchase a terrace house that is under construction. Do we need to pay ABSD?
I am an SC and I co-own a house with my mother. My husband who is also an SC does not own any residential property. If we buy our first matrimonial home jointly, do we need to pay ABSD?
I am a widow and I jointly own a terrace house with my son. We are both SC. We intend to downgrade to a condominium unit. Can we apply for ABSD refund if we dispose of the terrace house within 6 months from the purchase of the condominium unit?
For purchase by SC and others (Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) and Foreigners (FR))
I am an SC married to a SPR. We jointly own a private apartment. If we buy another house jointly, what is the ABSD payable by us?
I am an SC married to a SPR. We jointly own a 3-room HDB flat. If we upgrade to a 5-room flat, do we need to pay ABSD?
I am an SC married to a SPR. We jointly own a 5-room HDB flat. If we upgrade to a private flat, do we need to pay ABSD?
I am an SC married to an SPR. Both of us do not own any property in Singapore. If we jointly purchase our first matrimonial home, do we need to pay ABSD?
I am an SC and my wife is a FR. We jointly own one apartment which is our first matrimonial home and no other property. Would we be eligible for the ABSD remission if we upgrade to a terrace house and sell the apartment within 6 months of our purchase of the terrace house?
For purchase by non-SC
I am an SPR who recently became a Singapore citizen. Do I need to pay ABSD?
ABSD liability is determined based on the buyer’s profile at the point of purchasing a property and does not change notwithstanding subsequent changes to the buyer’s profile.
The point of purchase refers to the date you signed your:
a) Date of Acceptance of the Option to Purchase* or
b) Date of Sale and Purchase Agreement or
c) Date of Agreement for Lease (for new HDB flat) or
d) Date of Transfer where the above a), b) and c) are not applicable.
*Excludes an Option to Purchase that is subject to the execution/ signing of the Sale and Purchase Agreement
If you received the in-principle approval for your application for SC/ SPR by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) before purchasing the property, please submit an e-appeal through the e-stamping portal. Notwithstanding your appeal request, you will need to pay the ABSD within 14 days of purchasing the property. Your appeal will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and if successful, the ABSD will be refunded to you after all the remission conditions have been met.
If you only received ICA’s in-principle approval after purchasing the property, your appeal will not be successful.