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IRAS Publishes Amendments To Stamp Duty For Gifts

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

23 December 2008


It has been announced that Singapore's Parliament has passed the Stamp Duties Amendment Bill 2008, which provides for the removal of mandatory adjudication.

The amendment becomes effective from January 1, 2009.

Under the Bill, for any conveyance or transfer declared as a gift, stamp duty will apply as if it were a conveyance or transfer resulting from a sale. In such instances, for transfer involving immovable properties, the stamp duty will be computed based on the market value of the immovable properties.

For transfers involving shares, stamp duty will be computed based on the Net Asset Values of the shares transferred.

For transfers involving immovable properties, the market value of the immovable property is to be determined as at the date of execution/signing of the document. The market value of the immovable property is the price that the immovable property might reasonably be expected to fetch in the open market on an arm’s length basis.

Until January 1, 2009, all documents of transfer involving gifts have to be submitted to the Commissioner of Stamp Duties for an assessment of the duty payable, meaning that adjudication and valuation fees are payable.

Taxpayers or tax agents are not permitted to e-stamp such documents.

With effect from January 1, 2009, taxpayers and tax agents can now self-assess and e-stamp the documents without having to submit the documents to the Commissioner of Stamp Duties for mandatory adjudication. This enhanced process means that taxpayers will enjoy a faster transfer process and save on the adjudication and valuation fees.

If taxpayers are uncertain of the market value of the immovable properties or the NAV of the shares that are to be transferred, they can still choose to submit the documents for adjudication. In such instances, adjudication and valuation fees will continue to be payable.


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