1. The Ministry of Finance is seeking public feedback on seven proposed legislative amendments under the draft Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill 2012 . We invite you to comment on the proposed amendments in the Amendment Bill.
2. Your views on the legislative amendments that give effect to the one stamp duty policy change announced in Budget 2012 will help us improve the draft legislation with regard to its clarity or its implications for compliance by taxpayers.
3. We also welcome your comments on the amendments relating to technical and non-Budget changes arising from our periodic review of the stamp duties system. These changes do not involve policy changes, and aim to improve stamp duty administration or clarify existing legislation.
SCOPE OF THE CONSULTATION EXERCISE
4. The draft Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill 2012 incorporates a tax change announced in Budget Statement 2012 and 6 proposed technical legislative amendments to the Stamp Duties Act as follows:
Budget 2012 changes: Enhanced stamp duty concession under the Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Scheme
(a) The stamp duty relief will be extended to acquisitions carried out through multiple tiers of entities, and not just those carried out through one tier of wholly-owned subsidiaries;
Non-Budget 2012 changes:
(b) Extend the appeal deadline for stamp duty from the current 21 days to 30 days to align with the deadlines for other tax types such as Income Tax and Goods and Services Tax;
(c) Enable the Minister to make subsidiary legislations to clarify the application of specific sections of the Act when amendments are made to the First or Third Schedule;
(d) Clarify that stamp duty is not chargeable on a conveyance on sale of any type of property other than immovable property (such as land), stocks and shares;
(e) Remove references to physical revenue stamps. Franking machines and revenue stamps have been decommissioned after the implementation of e-stamping;
(f) Clarify that the reduction in Seller’s Stamp Duty on the parts of the property used for a non-prescribed purpose (i.e. purpose that is not subject to Seller’s Stamp Duty) also applies to vacant land. The reduction in Seller’s Stamp Duty does not apply to parts used temporarily for non-prescribed purpose; and
(g) Clarify that Rules may be made to amend stamp duty remission Orders made before 1 January 2012.
5. The summary table provides a brief description of the tax changes and explains the amendments to the Stamp Duties Act. Please refer to the draft Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill 2012 and its accompanying Explanatory Statement for details.
6. We would appreciate your support and participation to ensure that the consultation exercise is productive. Respondents are requested to observe these guidelines:
a. Please identify yourself and 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. Please use the prescribed template provided to help us understand your feedback better;
d. Your comments should focus on how the legislative amendments can be better written to make them clearer and to make compliance easier; and
e. As far as possible, please explain your points with illustrations, examples, data or alternative formulations of the amendments.
7. 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
8. The draft Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill 2012 is available for public consultation from 20 September 2012 to 10 October 2012. We regret that comments received after 10 October 2012 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 . The 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 a summary of the main comments we receive on the Ministry Of Finance’s website , together with our responses, in early November 2012. The identity of respondents will not be disclosed in the summary.
DOCUMENTS TO DOWNLOAD
10. For further reference, please click here to download the relevant documents relating to this public consultation exercise.
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