30 October 2018

The Stamp Duties Act (“Act”) has been amended with effect from 4 October 2018 to give legislative effect to four main categories of changes to the Stamp Duties Act.

  • Levying of stamp duty on electronic records: The Act is amended to provide for stamp duty to be levied on electronic records that effect a transfer of interest in immovable properties and shares. Previously, such transfers are done via physical records, and stamp duty was levied where applicable.
  • Recovering interest from taxpayer who fails to comply with remission conditions: The Act is amended to provide that the Minister for Finance (“Minister”) can recover interest from a taxpayer who fails to comply with the remission conditions in respect of upfront stamp duty remission that had been granted to him.
  • Relief from stamp duty for corporate restructuring with no substantial change in beneficial interest of transferred assets: Section 15 of the Act which provides relief from stamp duty for corporate restructuring where there is no substantial change in beneficial interest of the transferred assets is amended to align the Act with changes made to the stamp duty regime in recent years. For example, a firm was previously not able to enjoy relief from share duty if its conversion to a limited liability partnership attracted the Additional Conveyance Duty. Given that the policy intent remains not to charge duties under such circumstances, the legislation is amended to provide relief from stamp duty in these such circumstances.
  • Giving flexibility to IRAS in operating E-Stamping system: The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (“IRAS”) operates an E-Stamping system which is an online portal for taxpayers to declare and pay stamp duties. The Act is amended to give IRAS the flexibility to make changes to the administration of the system, such as determining the information to be furnished by taxpayers under the E-Stamping system, without having to seek the Minister’s approval each time, thereby enhancing IRAS’ nimbleness to meet its operational needs.

Reference materials

The following reference materials are available from the Singapore Statutes Online website sso.agc.gov.sg:

 

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