Property curbs add $1 billion to tax revenue

Property curbs add $1 billion to tax revenue

The raft of cooling measures imposed to tame the red-hot property market has delivered more than $1 billion in additional levies to the taxman.

The surge in revenue was bolstered following the additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) of up to 15 per cent that was rolled out in January.

About $158 million in ABSD was netted in February and March, bringing the total until March to $1.03 billion since the tax was introduced in December 2011, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) told The Straits Times recently.

The January measures - the seventh since September 2009 - also marked the first time that Singaporean investors buying their second homes were penalised with an additional tax.

Foreigners have forked out $580 million in ABSD for 3,041 homes from December 2011 to March this year, while Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) have stumped up $386 million for 7,269 homes, Iras noted. Non-individuals such as companies paid a further $66 million in levies for 285 units.

Home owners have also paid $66.6 million in seller's stamp duties since that levy was introduced in 2010.

This tax of up to 16 per cent is meant to curb speculation and applies to those who sell their homes within four years of purchase.

However, no seller's stamp duty has been collected for industrial transactions since the new taxes that apply to the segment were unveiled on Jan 11, said Iras.

The taxman's annual report released last September stated that it collected $2.3 billion in stamp duty from sale and purchase agreements in its financial year ended March 31 last year.

This figure includes levies like the additional buyer's stamp duty and the seller's stamp duty.

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