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, like Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD), will cost.
On 14 February 2023, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong delivered the Budget 2023 statement in Parliament, where he announced the BSD for higher-value residential and non-residential properties would be raised.
Read on to learn more about BSD and how these latest changes will affect prospective property buyers in Singapore and the Singapore property market at large.
But first, we want to share with you Property TourTalks, a lineup of free Singapore property bus tours happening across September 2023. If you’re hearing about BSD for the first time and want to know how that affects the buying and financing journey of your home, you’ll want to sign up now (limited seats left). Scroll to the end of this article for more information.
What 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?
Purchase price/Market value
Rates for residential properties
Rates for non-residential properties
Next $1.5 million
In excess of $3 million
The BSD tax is rounded down to the nearest dollar. For example, if you’re a Singapore Citizen buying a condominium valued at $5 million, your BSD calculation would then go something like this
1% of the first $180,000
$180,000 x 1% = $1,800
2% of the next $180,000
$180,000 x 2% = $3,600
3% of the next $640,000
$640,000 x 3% = $19,200
4% of the next $500,000
$500,000 x 4% = $20,000
5% of the next $1,500,000
$1,500,000 x 5% = $75,000
Remaining Amount of $2,000,000
$2,000,000 x 6% = $120,000
So, the BSD payable for a $5 million property would be a total of $239,600.
Calculate Your Buyer’s Stamp Duty Quickly
Here is an alternative formula you can use to calculate the BSD quickly:
The formula for quick BSD calculation
$180,000 or less
1% x purchase price or market value = BSD you have to pay
Between $180,000 to less than $360,000
(2% x purchase price or market value) – $1,800 = BSD you have to pay
Between $360,000 to less than $1 million
(3% x purchase price or market value) – $5,400 = BSD you have to pay
Between $1 million to less than $1.5 million
(4% x purchase price or market value) – $15,400 = BSD you have to pay
Between $1.5 million to less than $3 million
(5% x purchase price or market value) – $30,400 = BSD you have to pay
More than $3 million
(6% x purchase price or market value) – $60,400 = BSD you have to pay
Or just use our stamp duty calculator to work out your duties payable on your new home.
What Were the Changes to Buyer’s Stamp Duty in 2023?
Before 20 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 20 February 2018, the BSD rate was 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 non-residential properties remained the same as before.
Effective from 15 February 2023, the BSD tax was increased for residential and non-residential properties, up to 6% and 5%, respectively.
Transitional Provision for Buyer’s Stamp Duty Rates
So, what happens if you just bought a property or were in the later stages of the homebuying journey? Which BSD rates do you pay? You will be eligible to apply for transitional BSD remission and pay the previous BSD rates, if:
Option to Purchase (OTP) was granted by the sellers to potential buyers on or before 14 February 2023
OTP is exercised on or before 7 March 2023, or within the OTP validity period (whichever is earlier)
OTP has not been varied on or after 15 February 2023
The OTP is considered to be exercised when the acceptance of the OTP or Sale and Purchase Agreement has been signed by the buyer.
Previous Buyer’s Stamp Duty Rates (on or Before 14 February 2023)
Purchase price/Market value
Rates for residential properties
Rates for non-residential properties
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:
ABSD payable (on or after 27 April 2023)
Singapore Citizens buying their first property
No need to pay ABSD (no change)
Singapore Citizen buying a second property
Singapore Citizens buying their third and subsequent properties
Singapore Permanent Residents (PR) buying their first property
5% (no change)
Singapore PR buying a second property
Singapore PR buying third and subsequent properties
Foreigners buying any property
Entities (companies or associations) buying any property
Housing developers for any residential property
35% (additional 5%; non-remittable)
Trustee buying any residential property
When you sell your property, you might also need to pay Seller’s Stamp Duty (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 BSD 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 19 February 2018 (the OTP is granted on or before 19 February 2018, and is exercised before 12 March 2018)
Acquisition of residential land for non-residential development
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 BSD, 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.
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 BSD 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.
Property Tourtalks: Need Help Buying and Financing Your New Home?
Property TourTalks is making a comeback this September 2023 with bus tours for different property seekers. From the Next Steps tour for property upgraders to the Wealth Building tour for investors, you have a range of curated tours of select property routes to choose from. Save the dates 16, 17, 23, and 24 September 2023 and arm yourself with the tools you need to buy your next home.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
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