The Essential Guide to Buyer’s Stamp Duties in Singapore

Last updated on October 1, 2018

Featured image for the "The Essential Guide to Buyer’s Stamp Duties in Singapore" article. It is a photo of HDB flats in Singapore.

Buying a residential property is a major investment and there are many factors to consider during the purchase of a property.

One factor is the Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) and the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD), which are taxes levied on purchases of property in Singapore.

In this essential guide to buyer’s stamp duties in Singapore, you will learn:

  • What is BSD and ABSD
  • How to calculate BSD and ABSD
  • How to pay BSD and ABSD
  • Deadline for paying BSD and ABSD

Buyer’s Stamp Duty

BSD is payable on all property you buy in Singapore. The amount of BSD to be paid is based on:

  • The purchase price of the property, as stated in the signed sale and purchase agreement; or
  • The market value of the property, as obtained from valuation reports of the property;

whichever is the higher of the two.

How to calculate Buyer’s Stamp Duty

The current BSD rates are:

Purchase price or market value of property BSD rate
First $180,000 1%
Next $180,000 2%
Next $640,000 3%
Remaining amount 4%

For example, if the purchase price of a property is $600,000, the BSD payable will be:

 (1% x $180,000) + (2% x $180,000) + (3% x (600,000 – 180,000 – 180,000)) = $12,600.

Here’s a shortcut – if the property is being sold for or is valued below $1 million, you can use this formula to calculate the BSD instead:

(3% x purchase price or market value) – $5,400

You will arrive at the same result.

Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty

Depending on your residency status and how many residential properties you already own in Singapore, you may also need to pay ABSD when buying residential property in Singapore.

What is considered residential property?

Common residential properties include HDB flats, condominiums, terrace houses, bungalows, HUDC apartments and cluster houses.

HDB shops with living quarters and shop-houses with portions permitted for residential use are also considered residential property for ABSD purposes.

How to calculate ABSD

Just like BSD, the amount of ABSD to be paid is based on the property’s purchase price or market value, whichever is higher.

The ABSD rates are dependent on the buyer’s residency status, i.e. whether you are a Singapore citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident or foreigner.

As of 6 July 2018, the ABSD rates are:

Buyer’s residency status ABSD rate on purchase of first property ABSD rate on purchase of second property ABSD rate on purchase of third and subsequent property
Singapore citizens, and nationals and Permanent Residents of Switzerland, United States of America, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway Not applicable 12% 15%
Singapore Permanent Residents 5% 15% 15%
Foreigners 20% 20% 20%

You will be regarded as purchasing an additional residential property if you already own a residential property in Singapore (whether you fully, jointly or partially own this first residential property).

Must ABSD always be paid when you buy additional residential properties in Singapore?

There are some situations where you will not have to pay ABSD when buying additional residential properties in Singapore. These include:

  • Where you have already contracted to sell your current residential property before signing the Option to Purchase for the new residential property
  • If you are downgrading from a private property to a HDB resale flat. This is because you are required to sell your private property within 6 months of completing your purchase of the HDB resale flat.

Read our other article for more information on avoiding liability for ABSD.

What if you are buying the property jointly with someone else?

When purchasing a residential property jointly with someone else, check whether different ABSD rates apply to both of you.

If so, the higher ABSD rate will be used to calculate ABSD.

For example, let’s say you and your spouse are intending to jointly purchase a new condominium unit. Both of you are Singapore citizens and own the following properties:

Your properties Your spouse’s properties
Condominium unit (sole owner) Condominium unit (sole owner)
Terrace house (jointly owned with your parents)  –

In this case, your spouse’s profile attracts an ABSD rate of 7% but your applicable ABSD rate is 10%. Hence, the ABSD payable for the purchase of the new condominium unit is 10%.

How to Pay the BSD and ABSD

Refer to the table below on where BSD and ABSD can be paid and the accepted modes of payment:

Location Accepted payment modes
e-Stamping Portal (online) eNETS, cheque, cashier’s order
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) Surf Centre e-Terminals eNET, NETS, cashcard
SingPost Service Bureaus (at Chinatown, Novena, Raffles Place and Shenton Way) Cash, cheque, cashier’s order, NETS

BSD and ABSD have to be paid in full and cannot be paid in instalments.

You may also be able to use your Central Provident Fund funds to pay the BSD and ABSD. Howevver, you will need to pay the BSD and ABSD first and then seek a reimbursement from your CPF account. Further information can be obtained from the IRAS website and the CPF website.

Deadline for Paying the BSD and ABSD

For property sale and purchase agreements signed in Singapore, the BSD and ABSD have to be paid within 14 days of the agreement being signed.

If however the sale and purchase agreement was signed overseas, the deadline is 30 days after the agreement was received in Singapore.

Consequences of late payment

If BSD or ABSD is not paid by the due date, you will be issued a Demand Note to remind you to make payment. The Demand Note will also state the penalty you have incurred for missing the payment deadline.

The penalties are:

  • Delay in payment for up to 3 months: $10 or an amount equal to the BSD and ABSD payable, whichever is higher
  • Delay in payment exceeding 3 months: $25 or an amount equal to 4 times the BSD and ABSD payable, whichever is higher

IRAS may recover the outstanding stamp duty by appointing your bank, employer, tenant or lawyer to pay the amount to it on your behalf. IRAS may also take legal action against you to recover the outstanding amount.

Buying and selling a property
  1. What if the seller does not turn up for the First Appointment?
  2. Joint ownership in Singapore and unequal contributions to purchase price
  3. Caveats and Home Ownership in Singapore
  4. Types of property and home ownership in Singapore
  5. What are the duties of an estate agent in Singapore?
  6. The Conveyancing Process in Singapore
  7. Selling Property as a Tenant in Common
  8. Getting a Mortgage Redemption in Singapore
  9. Buying a property on trust for your child
  10. Transfer of Property in Singapore
  11. Buying Property in Singapore: How to Pay for Your Property
  12. Refinancing Your Home Loan
  13. Common Terms in Sale & Purchase Agreements
  14. Decoupling to Beat the Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty
  15. Converting a Joint Tenancy to a Tenancy-in-Common
  16. How Can I Buy My Co-Owner’s Share of the Property?
  17. Purchasing a Property on an “As Is Where Is” Basis: What Does it Mean?
  18. The Essential Guide to Buyer’s Stamp Duties in Singapore
  19. Option to Purchase: 6 Things to Know Before Exercising It
  20. HDB Resale Process: How to Sell Your HDB Flat Without an Agent
  21. Property Auction: How to Buy a House in Distressed Sales and More
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