Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill [No 38/2012] introduced in Parliament

20 November 2012

The Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill was introduced in Parliament on 12 November 2012. This Bill seeks to make various amendments to the Stamp Duties Act (Cap 312).

Further details of the amendments to the various sections of the Stamp Duties Act can be found in the “Explanatory Statement” of the Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill.

Source: Government Gazette

Results of public consultation on draft Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill 2012

20 November 2012

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has accepted for further review three of the five suggestions on the draft Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill 2012 received during the public consultation exercise held from 20 September 2012 to 10 October 2012.

Suggestions accepted by the MOF for further review include:

  • The deferral of the point of duty on bonds and notes convertible into equity until the actual conversion occurs and the removal of stamp duty on securities over shares in a non-Singapore company.
  • Further clarification on stamp duty treatment regarding applications to the Registrar of Titles for subdivision and amalgamation of lots which result in the creation of additional or new common property.
  • The definition of “stock” within the Act to be updated or removed.

Those not accepted were in relation to:

  • The removal of the qualifying condition that the acquiring company has to be a Singapore company or to provide a provision to allow this condition to be waived at the Minister’s discretion.
  • The amendment of the phrase “any property” in Section 22(1) to read as “immovable property, stock and shares” (whichever is applicable).

The draft Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill 2012 proposed legislation to put into effect the enhancement of the stamp duty concession under the Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Scheme announced in Budget 2012, as well as changes arising from the periodic review of the stamp duty tax system to improve legislative clarity or stamp duty administration. Further details on the draft Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill 2012 can be found here.

Source: Ministry of Finance

Public feedback sought on draft Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill 2012

21 September 2012

The Ministry of Finance is seeking public feedback on the draft Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill 2012.

Except for one proposed amendment that was announced in the 2012 Budget Statement, the rest are predominantly technical changes that arise from periodic review of the stamp duties regime.

A summary of the proposed amendments is as follows:

  • Stamp duty relief to be extended to acquisitions carried out through multiple tiers of entities, and not just through one tier of wholly-owned subsidiaries (as announced in the 2012 Budget Statement)
  • Appeal deadline to be extended for stamp duty from the current 21 days to 30 days
  • Clarification that stamp duty is not chargeable on a conveyance on sale of any type of property other than immovable property (such as land), stock and shares
  • References to physical revenue stamps to be removed with the decommissioning of franking machines and revenue stamps after the implementation of e-stamping
  • Clarification that the reduction in Seller’s Stamp Duty on the parts of the property used for a non-prescribed purpose (i.e. purpose that is not subject to Seller’s Stamp Duty) also applies to vacant land. The reduction in Seller’s Stamp Duty does not apply to parts used temporarily for non-prescribed purpose
  • Clarification that Rules may be made to amend stamp duty remission Orders made before 1 January 2012
  • To enable the Minister to make subsidiary legislation to clarify the application of specific sections of the Act when amendments are made to the First or Third Schedule.

The consultation period runs from 20 September 2012 till 10 October 2012.

Source: Ministry of Finance (MOF)

Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill 2011 – Second Reading in Parliament

23 November 2011

The Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill 2011 was presented for the second reading in Parliament on 22 November 2011.

Made up of eight amendments, two amendments give legislative effect to Budget 2011 initiatives, while the remaining six amendments arise from the periodic review of the stamp duty system.

A. Budget 2011

  • Stamp duty relief will be made available for a company converting into a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), subject to conditions. This relief provides more flexibility for companies restructuring to LLPs (Clause 4(a)).
  • Most fixed and nominal stamp duties of $2 and $10 on documents executed on or after 19 February 2011 will be removed (Clauses 2, 3, 6, 7(a), 8, 12 and 13).

B. Amendments as result of periodic review of the stamp duties policies and administration

  • Stamp duty relief for qualifying mergers and acquisitions (M&As) was announced in Budget 2010. Clauses 5 and 14 propose changes to align conditions for stamp duty relief, such as the qualifying period, more closely to the conditions in the income tax allowance for qualifying M&As.
  • Currently, the Minister for Finance can impose conditions to be applied generally for any reduction or remission of stamp duty. Clause 11 provides flexibility for the Minister for Finance to waive the conditions for any relief, remission or exemption of stamp duty for specific cases.

The other provisions in the Bill are to improve tax administration or provide clarifications to the law.

For a copy of the Bill, please click here.

Source: Ministry of Finance