US, Swiss citizens can avoid new Singapore stamp duty

Citizens of five countries, including the United States and Switzerland, could avoid paying the additional stamp duty when they purchase a property in Singapore due to tax treaties with the city-state, the Straits Times reported on Friday.

Similar treatment will also be accorded to citizens of Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland, who will be treated the same as Singapore citizens, the paper quoted the tax department as saying.

Singapore announced new measures on Wednesday to cool its housing market, saying foreigners who buy private homes will have to pay an additional stamp duty (ABSD) equal to 10 percent of the property value.

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) website says they must provide identification, acceptance to option to purchase/sale, the purchase agreement and the ABSD declaration form.

Many Singaporeans have blamed an influx of foreigners from China and other locations for driving up the costs of living in Singapore.

Foreigners accounted for 18 percent of new home units sold in Singapore in the third quarter this year, exceeding the previous peak of 15 percent in 2007, Citigroup said in a research note.

Source : Reuters – 9 Dec 2011

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