In Singapore, when one purchase a residential property / home, everyone will have to pay the  Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD).  In December 2011, the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) was introduced.  The ABSD is payable depending on the profile of the buyers based on certain criteria.

The rates for BSD and ABSD has been adjusted along the way and was last updated in July 2018.

1. What is the purpose of Additional Buyer Stamp Duty ?

The Additional Buyer Stamp Duty was introduced on 8 December 2011 as part of a “cooling measure” to moderate demand for private residential properties This tax is payable to top of the existing Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) which is applicable to all property purchases.

As prices for private residential properties continued to rise, Singapore Government announced the ABSD to stop the property market from overheating. 2011 was when property prices are 13% above the peak in 2Q1996 and 16% above the peak in 2Q2008.  This is to promote a more sustainable property market where property prices move in line with economic fundamentals.

2. Who is liable for ABSD ?

You are liable for ABSD, if you are

Singapore Citizens (SC) buying their 2nd and subsequent residential properties
Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) buying their 1st and subsequent residential properties
Foreigners buying any Singapore residential properties
Entities buying any Singapore residential properties

Entities refers to non-individual buyers :

• An unincorporated association
• A trustee for a collective investment scheme when acting in that capacity
• A trustee-manager for a business trust when acting in that capacity
• The partners of the partnership whether or not any of them is an individual, where the property conveyed, transferred or assigned is to be held as partnership property

3. What are the rates applicable ?

The ABSD rates are applicable to the purchase price or market value of the property purchased. If a property is jointly purchased by buyers of different profiles, the profile with the highest ABSD rate will apply on the entire value purchased.

Below are the rates on / after 6 July 2018. The ABSD is to be paid within 14 days from exercising of the Option.

Buyer's Profile1st Property2nd Property3rd & Subsequent Property
Singapore Citizens (SC)0%12%15%
Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR)5%15%15%
Foreigners25%25%25%

4. Are there any exemptions to ABSD ?

Nationals and Permanent Residents of the following countries will be liable to ABSD rates same as Singapore Citizens, under the respective Free Trade Agreements (FTA) :

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

For married couples, there are conditions for remission of ABSD.  If you are a foreigner or SPR married to a Singapore Citizen (SC), and if you do not own any residential property, you do not need to pay ABSD when purchasing your first property. The condition is that the property purchased must be in both names of the couple only.

Married couples (at least one must be a SC) may also apply for ABSD remission when they purchase a 2nd residential property jointly.  However, the first residential property must be sold 6 months after the issue of the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) / Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC), whichever is earlier, for new launches building under construction (BUC).  In the case of completed property purchase, it must be sold within 6 months after the date of Acceptance of the OTP.

For complete terms and conditions on the remission of ABSD, you can refer to the IRAS website.

5. How and When do I pay ABSD ?

ABSD needs to be paid within 14 days from exercising of the Option to Purchase.

You can pay the ABSD in cash or by CPF.  Your lawyer acting for you in the purchase can help you make arrangements with CPF to do so.