Public Consultation on Property Tax (Amendment) Bill 2010
1. The Ministry of Finance is seeking public feedback on the draft Property Tax (Amendment) Bill 2010. The Bill sets out the 12 proposed legislative amendments to the Property Tax (“PT”) Act. We invite you to contribute comments on the proposed amendments.
2. Your feedback is important in helping us improve the draft legislation to make it clearer or to make it easier for taxpayers to comply with the changes. We welcome comments on both the policy and draft aspects of the proposed legislative amendments.
SCOPE OF THE CONSULTATION EXERCISE
3. The draft PT (Amendment) Bill 2010 covers 12 proposed legislative amendments to improve tax administration or provide further clarity to taxpayers as follows:
(a) Align the time-bar for the Comptroller of Property Tax to recover outstanding property tax and refund excess property tax paid by taxpayers from six years to five years. This time bar also applies to income tax as well as goods and services tax;
(b) Clarify that the interest payable on the refund of excess property tax pursuant to a Court Order is to be computed from the date of the Order;
(c) Allow the Chief Assessor and Comptroller of Property Tax to cancel erroneous property tax notices from previous years and to replace them with amended notices, such as where the errors arose from clerical/arithmetical mistakes or from information wrongly provided by taxpayers;
(d) Delegate from the Minister for Finance to the Comptroller of Property Tax the power to grant property tax exemption for land used for public religious worship, public schools, charitable, and social development purposes. Currently, the Comptroller can grant exemption for buildings used for these purposes;
(e) Streamline reporting requirements for property owners. The requirement for property owners to inform IRAS upon certain events (such as the completion, rebuilding, enlargement, alteration or improvement of a building) will be removed;
(f) Align the interest rates on late property tax payments by taxpayers and tax refunds by the Comptroller of Property Tax to the interest rate(s) as specified by the Ministry of Finance annually for Government refunds and arrears due to Government generally;
(g) Clarify the definition of “structural networks” to include any part of a structural network (which may be comprised of one or more pipelines, etc.);
(h) Clarify when the Valuation List (“VL”) can be deemed as inaccurate and hence allow the Chief Assessor to amend the VL;
(i) Clarify the start date of tax liability for properties owned by statutory boards and leased for more than three years;
(j) Clarify that the Comptroller of Property Tax can recover property tax on land on which demolition has taken place from the date of completion of demolition works;
(k) Allow the Comptroller of Property Tax to recover property tax for redevelopment sites prior to the current year. This is subject to a time-bar limit of five years; and
(l) Re-designate the Clerk to Valuation Review Board as “Secretary”.
4. The summary table lists all the legislative changes and explains the amendments to the PT Act.
5. We would appreciate your support to ensure that the consultation exercise is productive and successful. Respondents are requested to follow these guidelines:
a. Identify yourself as well as the organisation you represent (if any) so that we may follow up to clarify any issues, if necessary;
b. Make your comments clear and concise;
c. Use the prescribed template provided to help us understand your feedback better;
d. Focus your comments on how the legislative amendments can be better written to make them clearer and to ease compliance; and
e. Explain your points with illustrations, examples, data or alternative formulations of the amendments as far as possible.
6. This draft legislation is released only for the purpose of consultation and should therefore not be used for individual or business decisions as it does not represent the final legislation or regulations. All comments received during the consultation exercise will be reviewed thoroughly and, if accepted, will be incorporated into the Bill for introduction in Parliament.
PERIOD OF CONSULTATION
7. The draft Property Tax (Amendment) Bill 2010 together with the draft subsidiary legislation for the change in paragraph 3 (f) are available for public consultation from 11 Jun 2010 to 25 Jun 2010. Comments received after 25 Jun 2010 will not be considered as they will be too late for incorporation into the final Bill.
8. We encourage all interested participants to submit your comments via our online submission form. Using this online submission form is the easiest and quickest way for your comments to reach us.
You can also send us your comments, using the prescribed template, through:
a. email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or
b. fax to 6337 4134; or
c. post to: Ministry of Finance
100 High Street, #10-01
SUMMARY OF RESPONSE
9. We will publish on this website a summary of the main comments we receive together with our responses by August 2010. The summary will not disclose the identity of respondents, and will not separately address or acknowledge every comment received.
DOCUMENTS TO DOWNLOAD
10. For your convenience, the relevant documents relating to this public consultation exercise can be downloaded for further reference. Please click here.
 The Valuation List, prepared by the Chief Assessor, states the list of properties liable for property tax, the names of their owners and their Annual Values.