1. The Ministry of Finance is seeking public feedback on the draft Stamp Duties (Amendment No.2) Bill 2010.
2. The draft Bill will give legal effect to three tax changes, for which there is either no change in the underlying policy, or the policy itself had been adopted after feedback and debate in Parliament. Hence, we seek comments on the drafting of the proposed amendments, so as to help us improve the proposed legislation with regard to clarity and compliance by taxpayers
SCOPE OF THE CONSULTATION EXERCISE
3. The draft Stamp Duties (Amendment No.2) Bill 2010 implements a tax change announced in Budget 2010 as well as two non-Budget changes arising from the periodic review of our stamp duty regime:
Budget 2010 change:
(a) Provide for stamp duty relief for qualifying mergers and acquisitions (M&As). This relief and the M&A income tax allowance were announced in Budget 2010 to support business restructuring.
(b) Clarify that the Minister for Finance may impose conditions for any reduction or remission of stamp duty.
(c) Provide for payment of stamp duty that was earlier relieved when there is a breach of the qualifying conditions for the relief (e.g. for transfers between associated entities). The stamp duty that was earlier relieved is required to be paid within a month of the notice of payment issued by the Commissioner of Stamp Duties, failing which late payment penalties will apply.
4. The summary table lists all the tax changes and explains the amendments to the Stamp Duties Act.
5. We would appreciate your support to ensure that the consultation exercise is effective. 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 and more clearly written; 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 public 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 will be reviewed thoroughly and, if accepted, will be incorporated in the Bill for subsequent introduction in Parliament.
PERIOD OF CONSULTATION
7. The draft Stamp Duties (Amendment No.2) Bill 2010 and the draft Stamp Duties (Relief from Stamp Duty upon Acquisition of Shares of Companies) Rules 2010 are available for public consultation from 6 August 2010 to 19 August 2010. Comments received after 19 August 2010 will not be considered for incorporation into the final Bill.
8. We encourage all interested participants to submit your comments via our online submission form. Using the online submission form is the easiest and quickest way for your comments to reach us for consideration.
You can also send us your comments, using the prescribed template, through:
a. email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or
b. fax: 6337 4134; or
c. post: Ministry of Finance
100 High Street, #10-01
SUMMARY OF RESPONSE
9. We will publish on the Ministry of Finance website a summary of the main comments we received together with our responses by September 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.