3 August 2011
The Ministry of Finance is seeking public feedback on the draft Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill 2011 which incorporates eight proposed legislative amendments to the Stamp Duties Act as follows:
A. Budget 2011 changes as announced by Deputy Prime Minister / Minister for Finance Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam in the 2011 Budget Statement:
- Extension of stamp duty relief to companies that convert to Limited Liability Partnerships; and
- Removal of most $2 and $10 nominal and fixed duties on documents.
B. Non-Budget 2011 changes: These tax changes arose from regular reviews of the stamp duty system and will improve stamp duty administration, with no substantial change in underlying policy, ie:
- Refinements to stamp duty relief for qualifying mergers and acquisitions (M&As) to align the stamp duty relief for M&As more closely to the grant of income tax allowance for qualifying M&As;
- Provision for the Minister to waive conditions for any relief, remission or exemption of stamp duty to provide more clarity and flexibility for the remission of stamp duties;
- Provision for the Minister to exempt a person in a public office from the need to impound an instrument that is not duly stamped where the need arises;
- Clarification on persons eligible to claim stamp duty refunds for aborted Sales & Purchase agreements, specifically that refunds may be claimed only by the person who paid the duty or is liable to pay the duty, instead of the person who solely or first executed the document;
- Consequential amendments following changes to the Land Titles (Strata) Act in July 2010 to update all references on refusals of collective sale applications by a Strata Titles Board, to include refusals of collective sale applications by a High Court; and
- Refinements to relevant sections of the Act to allow for relief of seller’s stamp duty when relief of buyer’s stamp duty is granted.
The public consultation runs from 3rd to 23rd August 2011.
For full details, please click here.