Calculating Stamp Duty for Sale of Property in Singapore

So you’re about to purchase a property in Singapore, you’ve probably heard about Stamp Duty, a tax which the Inland Revenue of Singapore (IRAS) collects upon a new sale or tenancy of a real estate.

Stamp duty is a tax on documents relating to properties or shares.

How do you actually calculate your stamp duty for sale of property? Let’s find out.

Stamp Duty for Sale of Property

I’m referring to the IRAS website on Stamp Duty and you’re suppose to pay this tax if:

  • You have purchased a HDB Flat
  • You have purchased a completed property issued with Temporary Occupation Permit
  • You have purchased a property under construction
  • You have purchased a property by way of a sub-sale
  • You have acquired properties an enbloc purchase

The Formula

For Realtors, we simply use the formula of (Sale Price multiply by 3%) minus $5,400.0 for a quick guide, but if the price of the property falls below $360,000, this would be inaccurate. Remember we also have to round up to the nearest hundred dollar before calculating.

Example

Peter bought a walk up apartment at the price of $500,000.00, his stamp duty fees will be [($500,000 x 3%) – $5400] = $9,600

The real formula would be,

1% of the first $180,000, 2% of the next $180,000 and 3% of the remaining amount balance.

Let’s use the same formula for the above mentioned property Peter bought.

[3% of ( $500,000 – $180,000 – $180,000)] + (2% of $180,000) + 1% of ($180,000) = ( 3% of remaining $140,000 ) + (2% of 180,000) + (1% of 180,000) = $4,200 + $3,600 + $1,800 = $9,600

Who To Pay?

Most of the time, the purchaser will be responsible for paying the stamp duty fees unless otherwise stated on the Sales & Purchase or Option to Purchase terms and conditions.

The persons liable to pay stamp duty will be in accordance to the terms of the document. If the terms of the document are silent on this, under the Stamp Duties Act (Cap 312), the transferee or grantee has to pay stamp duty.

When To Pay?

Please take note that upon execution of Sales and Purchase agreement in most cases, you’ll have to get your documents stamped within 14 days or within 30 days if you are overseas. Late stamping would be subjected to penalties for violating the Stamp Duties Act (Cap. 312)

Penalties will be imposed on documents that are stamped late or for which stamp duty is underpaid.

If the delay does not exceed 3 months, the penalty is $10 or equal to the amount of the deficient duty, whichever is higher.

If the delay exceeds 3 months, the penalty is $25 or 4 times the amount of deficient duty, whichever is the higher.

Now that’s pretty hefty, so please make sure your Realtor gets this properly done up upon a sale of your new home or property!

Written by Benson Koh
Benson is a professional real estate realtor with over 11 years of experience specializing in all forms of real estate consultancy and brokeraging of different segments from regal homes to commercial spaces. Also a boutique developer, he manages both SRI5000 Developments which concentrates on landed homes as part of his land bank segment and Singapore Realtors Inc (SRI), a real estate agency which has over 7 years of group experience. You can reach him here via various channels. [ Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | RSS Feed ]