Taxation & Duties for Foreigners Buying Real Estate in Singapore

When looking to buy Real Estate in Singapore as a foreigner, it is important to also consider taxes and stamp duties.

As a tool by the Singapore Government to control Real Estate prices in the country, taxes are continuously monitored and can be revised from time to time.

There are 2 different types of Property Taxes.

The first type is Stamp Duty, which are payable when there is a transfer of property ownership.

When buying, you have the Buyer’s Stamp Duty and the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty.

When selling, you have the Seller’s Stamp Duty.

The second type are regular Property Tax payments payable annually.

Both Stamp Duties and Annual Property taxes are collected by the Inland Revenue of Singapore (IRAS), a government body.

Keep reading for more details!

Stamp Duty

Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD)

Rate table:

Purchase Price or Market Value of the Property (whichever is higher)

Tax Rate (%)

First $180,000

                 1%

 Next $180,000

                 2%

 Next $640,000

                 3%

 Remaining Amount

                 4%

A simplified mathematic formula to calculate the Buyer’s Stamp Duty are as follows:

Purchase Price or Market Value of the Property SGD $1M or below, (3% X Price) – $5,400

Purchase Price or Market Value of the Property above SGD $1M, (4% X Price) – $15,400

For example, a property price of $3 mil, the Buyer’s Stamp Duty payable would be $104,600.

Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD)

The latest rate for foreigners buying any residential property: 20%

This was last revised from 15% since 6 July 2018.

Continuing from the example of a $3 mil property, the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty would be $600,000.

Total Stamp Duties payable to IRAS: $104,600 (BSD) + $600,000 (ABSD) = $704,600.

When to pay Stamp Duty

They are due and payable within 14 days from execution of the purchase documents.

For further reading on the Real Estate purchase process, click here.

Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty Exemptions

Good news is that there are some!

Under Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Nationals or Permanent Residents of the following countries will be accorded the same Stamp Duty treatment as Singapore Citizens i.e., 0% ABSD for the first property, 12% for the second, and 15% for the third and subsequent.

  • Nationals and Permanent Residents of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland
  • Nationals of the United States of America

Take note that Buyer’s Stamp Duty is applicable regardless.

Moving on to the second type of tax…

Annual Property Tax

Once you own Real Estate in Singapore, Property Tax is payable on an annual basis, usually at the start of the year.

It is applied on a progressive scale and calculated by multiplying the Annual Value (AV) of the property with the applicable rate.

The AV of buildings is the estimated gross annual rent of the property if it were to be rented out, excluding furniture, furnishings and maintenance fees. It is determined based on estimated market rentals of similar or comparable properties and not on the actual rental income received. – Source: Inland Revenue of Singapore

Rates are different depending on whether the property is used for owner-occupation or is an investment property (non-owner-occupier).

For multiple property owners, only 1 property can be assessed as being owner-occupied.

Owner-Occupier Property Tax Rates

Annual Value ($)

Effective 1 Jan 2015

Property Tax Payable

First $8,000

0%

 $0

Next $47,000

4%

$1,880

First $55,000

$1,880

Next $15,000

6%

$   900

First $70,000

$2,780

Next $15,000

8%

$1,200

First $85,000

$3,980

Next $15,000

10%

$1,500

First $100,000

$5,480

Next $15,000

12%

$1,800

First $115,000

$7,280

Next $15,000

14%

$2,100

First $130,000

$9,380

Above $130,000

16%

 

For illustration, an owner-occupied property with an annual value of $80,000, would have an applicable property tax of:

$2,780 + (8% X $10,000) = $3,580.

Non-owner-occupier Residential Tax Rates

Annual Value ($)

Effective 1 Jan 2015

Property Tax Payable

First 30,000

10%

$3,000

Next $15,000

12%

$1,800

First $45,000

$4,800

Next $15,000

14%

$2,100

First $60,000

$6,900

Next $15,000

16%

$2,400

First $75,000

$9,300

Next $15,000

18%

$2,700

First $90,000

$12,000

Above $90,000

20%

 

For illustration, a non-owner-occupied property with an annual value of $80,000, would have an applicable property tax of:

$9,300 + (18% X $5,000) = $10,200.

As you can tell, the scales for the non-owner-occupied property are much higher than the owner-occupied, with Property Tax for the former amounting to more than 2 times of the latter for a property with similar annual value.

Hope this gives you a good overview on the Taxation & Duties for Foreigners Buying Real Estate in Singapore.

Get in touch with me if you have further questions.

I provide end to end concierge support for foreigners looking to purchase their first home in Singapore.

For further self-reading about how you can get started with Singapore Real Estate, I have the perfect guide for you.

Check it out!

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