BSD, ABSD & SSD

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What are the different Stamp Duties payable for property in Singapore?

In Singapore, when you purchase or lease a property, you are required to pay a tax known as stamp duty. This tax is payable to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).

There are three different types of stamp duties that you should be aware of when it comes to buying, selling, acquiring, or disposing of properties in Singapore. These include the Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD), Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD), and Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD).

What Is Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD)?

The Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) is a tax that is imposed on all property purchases, including HDB flats. This tax is applicable only to the buyer of the property. The amount of BSD that needs to be paid is determined by comparing two factors: the purchase price of the property as mentioned in the signed sale and purchase agreement, and the market value of the property based on its valuation reports. The higher value between these two factors will be used to calculate the BSD.

bsd-chart

What Is Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD)?

Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) is a tax imposed on top of the Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) when purchasing a property in Singapore. The amount of ABSD you have to pay depends on certain factors such as your residency status and the number of properties you own. It is calculated based on the valuation or selling price of the property, whichever is higher.

 

absd-chart

‘Residential Property’ refers to properties used as homes, including HDB flats, condominiums, bungalows, and terrace houses. Shophouses with living quarters and HDB void deck shops with an upper floor designated for residential use are also considered residential properties. However, properties purchased overseas are not counted towards the property count for ABSD.

An ‘Entity’ is defined as someone who is not an individual and includes unincorporated associations, trustees for collective investment schemes, trustee-managers for business trusts, and partners of partnerships where the property is held as partnership property.

There are certain situations where you may be exempt from paying ABSD. For example, if you have already contracted to sell your current residential property before signing the Option to Purchase (OTP) for your new property, or if you are downgrading from a private property to an HDB resale flat. Another option is to consider dual-key condo units, which are sold as one property but feature two separate homes, thus avoiding the ABSD levy.

Citizens and permanent residents under the Free Trade Agreements: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and citizens of the United States of America, will be treated the same as Singapore Citizens. This means that for their first property purchase, they will not be required to pay ABSD.

What Is Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD)?

Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) is a tax that needs to be paid on residential properties that are sold within a period of 3 years from the date of purchase. This holding period begins from the date of acquisition, which could be the acceptance of the option to purchase (OTP), the sale and purchase agreement, or the agreement for lease (for new HDB flats). In the case of property acquisition through transfer, such as inheritance or divorce, the three-year holding period starts from the date of transfer.

 

ssd-chart

However, there are certain scenarios where sellers may be exempted from paying SSD. These include property owners whose properties are acquired by the government under the Land Acquisitions Act, property owners who are declared bankrupt and need to liquidate their property, and foreigners who are not required to pay SSD under the Residential Property Act. Additionally, flat owners whose flats are identified under SERS and are sold before HDB claims the flat, as well as cases where HDB repossesses a flat due to SERS or other refund reasons, are also exempted from SSD. Moreover, if we inherit a HDB flat while already owning one and are required by HDB to dispose of the inherited flat, or if we marry someone who owns a HDB flat while owning one ourselves and are required by HDB to dispose of either one of the flats, SSD may be exempted. These exemptions are usually granted based on legislative powers or existing policies, with the government exempting SSD for property owners in such situations.

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