Singapore slaps 35% ABSD on residential property transfers into living trust, closing loophole
Singapore slaps 35% ABSD on residential property transfers into living trust, closing loophole. The Ministry of Finance declared late Sunday night that any transfer of residential property into a living trust will be subject to an additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) of 35 percent beginning May 9. (May 8).
ABSD may or may not be charged depending on the profile of the beneficial owner of the residential property, such as the upcoming development Lentor Modern, transferred into the trust under existing legislation. ABSD does not apply if the living trust is designed in such a way that there is no identified beneficial owner at the time of transfer. The government is launching the “ABSD (Trust)” at 35 percent to narrow this gap, according to MOF’s press release.
“ABSD aims to promote a stable and sustainable residential property market, and as such, it should apply to transfers of residential properties into all living trusts, regardless of whether the residential properties transferred into such trusts have identifiable beneficial owners,” the ministry said.
When transferring funds, the ABSD (Trust) must be paid in advance. If certain conditions are met, such as all beneficial owners are identified, beneficial ownership has been vested in all of them, and it cannot be revoked, altered, or subject to further conditions, a trustee may petition for a refund of ABSD (Trust).
The reimbursement application must be submitted to the Singapore Inland Revenue Authority within 6 months of the instrument’s execution.
The strong reaction to recent property releases may have shone a light on buyers who are skirting market laws by buying through trusts, which were previously free from ABSD.
Nationals and permanent residents of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland, as well as nationals of the United States, are given the same stamp duty treatment as Singapore citizens under several of Singapore’s Free Trade Agreements.
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