The New Additional Conveyance Duties Regime in the Stamp Duties Act
(2018) 30 Singapore Academy of Law Journal 119-148
30 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2017 Last revised: 29 Apr 2018
Date Written: November 1, 2017
The Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill (Bill No. 18/2017) (the “Bill”) was passed on 10 March 2017 as an urgent bill. The Bill introduced a new Additional Conveyance Duties (“ACD”) regime, designed to levy stamp duties on transfers of interests in Property-Holding Entities (“PHEs”) and equalise the treatment between direct transfers of real property and indirect transfers through the use of PHEs. While the ACD regime was introduced partly in response to tax avoidance measures, its effect is not so confined.
The new Additional Conveyance Duties regime has gone beyond attempting to achieve tax neutrality between direct transfers of residential property and indirect transfers through the use of property-holding entities. It taxes an entirely new tax base and raises issues such as the extremely broad concept of an “associate” relationship; definition of “unit in a property trust”; anti-avoidance provisions; liability for providing false information; tax neutrality; and the considerable flexibility that the section 23 Order provides the Government. This paper analyses the regime in detail and considers the implications of various changes to the prescribed values in the section 23 Order.
Keywords: Stamp Duties, Tax Law, Revenue Law, Taxation
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation