Buying property in Singapore can hardly be described as “cheap”. They are major financial transactions and buyers will need to account for various additional payments, like Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD), on top of the transaction price.
As a buyer budgeting for a home or investment property, you’re not just factoring in the cost of the property itself. You’ll also need to determine how much the associated taxes will cost, which are payable to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).
If you’re purchasing residential property in Singapore, you are almost always subject to stamp duties, with the occasional rare exemption.
What Exactly Is Buyer’s Stamp Duty in Singapore?
Buyer’s Stamp Duty, or BSD for short, are taxes on documents related to either the purchase or lease of a property. BSD is a tax levied on all property purchases, even HDB flats, within Singapore. The tax applies only to the buyer.
The amount of BSD you have to pay depends on whichever is the higher of the following:
- Purchase price of the property (as stated in the signed sale and purchase agreement)
- The market value of the property (based on the property’s valuation reports)
Even if you manage to negotiate a condo unit valued at $2 million down to $1.8 million, your BSD rate will still be calculated based on the original $2 million, since it’s the higher of the two amounts.
It’s an offence to use a document that hasn’t had its stamp duties paid. Should you ever find yourself in court over any property disagreements, only documents that have had their stamp duties paid will be accepted as evidence.
How Much Is Buyer’s Stamp Duty in Singapore?
For properties bought on or after 20th February 2018, Buyer’s Stamp Duty Singapore rates are as follows:
|Purchase Price/Market Value||Rates for residential properties||Rates for non-residential properties|
BSD is also rounded down to the nearest dollar.
For example, if you’re a Singapore Citizen buying a condominium valued at $2 million, your BSD calculation would then go something like this
1% of the first S$180,000
$180,000 x 1% = S$1,800
2% of the next S$180,000
$180,000 x 2% = $3,600
3% of the next S$640,000
$640,000 x 3% = $19,200
Remaining Amount of S$1,000,000
$1,000,000 x 4% = $40,000
So, the BSD payable would be a total of $64,600.
If the property you are buying is being sold for or is valued below $1 million, this is an alternative formula you can use to calculate the BSD quickly:
(3% x purchase price or market value) – $5,400 = BSD you have to pay
For example, a $500,000 HDB flat would incur (3% x $500,000) – $5,400 = $9,600 in HDB Buyer’s Stamp Duty.
We also have a handy Stamp Duty Calculator if you need to work out duties payable.
What Were the Changes to Buyer’s Stamp Duty in 2018?
Before 20th February 2018, the BSD rate was up to 3%, and it applied across the board, whether to residential or non-residential properties. As part of the property cooling measures introduced on 20th February 2018, BSD has been revised to add an extra tier of 4% for amounts above $1 million, for residential properties only.
The rates for residential properties under $1 million and all non-residential properties remained the same as before.
The 1% hike on Singapore Buyer’s Stamp Duty was meant to target big-ticket purchases, such as expensive private condominiums, bungalows, and land or en bloc property purchases by developers.
For those buying million-dollar HDB flats, you’ll have to pay attention. But if your property falls slightly below the million-dollar mark, the HDB Buyer’s Stamp Duty would make little impact on your purchase.
“title”: “Are the Woodlands Million-Dollar HDB Flats Worth Their Hefty Price Tag? We Ask 5 Singaporeans”,
“excerpt”: “Would you pay six figures for an HDB flat in Woodlands?”,
Aside from Buyer’s Stamp Duty in Singapore, What Other Taxes Do I Need to Pay?
As a buyer, another type of stamp duty that you may have to pay is called Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD), which is one of the property cooling measures introduced by the government.
The amount of ABSD you have to pay depends on several criteria, such as your residency status and how many properties you’re buying. Here are the current ABSD rates:
|Buyer profile||ABSD payable (on or after 16 December 2021)|
|Singapore Citizen buying their first property||No need to pay ABSD (no change)|
|Singapore Citizen buying a second property||17%|
|Singapore Citizen buying their third and subsequent properties||25%|
|Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) buying their first property||5% (no change)|
|Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) buying a second property||25%|
|Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) buying third and subsequent properties||30%|
|Foreigners buying any property||30%|
|Entities (company or association) buying any property||35% (additional 5% if entity is housing developer; non-remittable)|
|Trustee buying any residential property||35%|
When you sell your property, you might also need to pay Seller’s Stamp Duty or SSD, so do factor in those costs when making property transactions.
Are There Any Exemptions Where I Don’t Need to Pay Buyer’s Stamp Duty in Singapore?
There are some instances where Buyer’s Stamp Duty in Singapore won’t be applicable:
- Aborted sale and purchase of properties
- Transfer of HDB flat within the family
- Transfer of assets between associated permitted entities
- Transfer of assets upon reconstruction or amalgamation
- Acquisition of a residential property on, or before 19th February 2018 (the Option to Purchase is granted on or before 19th February 2018, and is exercised before 12th March 2018)
- Acquisition of residential land for non-residential development
Do note that as of 9 May 2022, any residential property transferred into a living trust will be subject to a 35% ABSD rate.
If your property purchase falls under any of these categories, you can write to IRAS within 14 days of acquiring the property. You will need to send in a copy of the acquisition, the original letter of undertaking to comply with the remission conditions, and other documents or evidence necessary for the application.
When and How Do I Go About Paying My Buyer’s Stamp Duty in Singapore?
You have 14 days to pay your Buyer’s Stamp Duty, from the date of the execution of the sale. If the transaction happens overseas, the BSD must be paid within 30 days of receiving the documents in Singapore. You can’t pay for the BSD in instalments, so you’ll need to ensure you have enough to cover the full amount.
Information that you should prepare beforehand includes the personal particulars of both seller and buyer, the address of the property, and the value/price of the property.
You can e-stamp and pay the duties using the corresponding e-form from the IRAS’s e-Stamping website, using eNets, cheque, or a cashier’s order. Other avenues to pay for your BSD include e-Terminals at the IRAS Surf Centre, and SingPost Service Bureaus.
“title”: “IRAS e-Stamping 6-Step Guide: How to Pay Stamp Duty Online in Singapore”,
“excerpt”: “Learn what the different types of stamp duty are and how to pay them online.”,
Can I Pay My Buyer’s Stamp Duty Using CPF?
You might also be eligible to use your CPF to pay for BSD. You’ll have to pay for your BSD first and then apply for a one-time reimbursement from your CPF account together with your application to use your CPF savings to buy the property.
What If I’m Late in Paying My Buyer’s Stamp Duty?
If you don’t pay your Buyer’s Stamp Duty in Singapore by the deadline, IRAS will take action against you. A demand note will be sent to you as a reminder when the payment is not made by the due date.
If you’ve missed the deadline, but it’s been less than three months, you’ll have to pay a penalty of either $10 or an amount equal to the duty payable, whichever is higher.
If your delay exceeds three months, then the penalty is whichever is the higher of the two: $25, or a whopping four times the duty payable.
The IRAS may take legal action against you if you ignore the Demand Note and miss the stipulated deadline. They may also appoint your bank, employer, tenant, or lawyer to pay it on your behalf.
For more property news, content and resources, check out PropertyGuru’s guides section.
Looking for a new home? Head to PropertyGuru to browse the top properties for sale in Singapore.
Need help financing your latest property purchase? Let the Home Finance Advisors at PropertyGuru Finance help you find the best deals.