ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

MOF seeks stamp duties on electronic records of fixed property transfers

This will help safeguard Singapore's revenue base, it said.

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has proposed changes to Singapore’s Stamp Duties Act and introduced the Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill 2018 in Parliament.

According to an announcement, MOF proposed the duty to be levied on electronic records of transfers of immovable properties and shares. 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,” MOF said. This move safeguards Singapore’s revenue base, and ensures that Singapore continues to raise revenue from a variety of sources, including from asset transfers, it added.

There will be no change to tax rates or rules on property buyers and sellers. Other proposed changes are considered technical, such as making clear that the Minister can recover interest from taxpayers who fail to fulfil the conditions for stamp duty remission.

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, MOF said.

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