1. The Ministry of Finance (MOF) introduced the Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill 2018 in Parliament today.
2. Currently, transfers of immovable properties and shares are typically done via physical records, and stamp duty is levied where applicable. With the more pervasive use of digital technology, there is potential for more of such transactions to be effected electronically, bringing greater convenience to citizens and businesses.
3. To ensure that our laws keep pace with digitalisation, the key amendments provide for stamp duty to be levied on electronic records that effect a transfer of interest in immovable properties and shares. This move safeguards Singapore’s revenue base, and ensures that we continue to raise revenue from a variety of sources, including from asset transfers.
4. There will be no change to tax rates or rules on property buyers and sellers.
5. The remaining changes are technical amendments arising from MOF’s periodic review to improve tax policy and administration. These include making clear that the Minister can recover interest from taxpayers who fail to fulfil the conditions for stamp duty remission, which is an established practice today. The provisions for relief of stamp duty for corporate restructuring will also be updated to align the legislation with changes made to the stamp duty regime in recent years.
6. A copy of the draft Bill can be retrieved from www.parliament.gov.sg.
Issued by Ministry of Finance
6 August 2018