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Seller’s Stamp Duty: How Much You Have To Pay If You Sell Your Property Within 3 Years

Property speculation comes at a cost.

In Singapore, sellers pay a seller’s stamp duty (SSD) when they sell their residential property within 3 years. Based on the stamp duty collected for private residential properties, a total of 845 property transactions were taxed with Seller’s Stamp Duty in 2021, an increase from 611 transactions in 2020. The amount of SSD collected also increased from $17.78 million in 2020, to $27.54 million in 2021.

As property prices continue to rise in 2022 with the market leaning towards the seller’s favour, we may see a further increase in SSD this year. Here are some things to note about SSD and how much we may have to pay if we sell our properties early.

Read Also: 10 Types Of Property Cooling Measures That Singapore Government May Introduce (Based On Past Track Record)

Sellers’s Stamp Duty (SSD) Applies When We Sell Our Property Within The First 3 Years From Purchase Or Acquisition

Introduced in 2010, Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) is the tax payable on residential properties sold within a holding period of 3 years. The holding period for SSD starts from the date of purchase and acquisition and ends on the date of sale or disposal.

The date of purchase and acquisition could be the date of acceptance of option purchase (OTP), the date of sale and purchase agreement, or the date of agreement for lease (for new HDB flats). While rare, this means that HDB flats sellers could still be liable for SSD even after their Minimum Occupation Period (MOP). For example, if we made our selection of Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) replacement flat in July 2016 and moved in on July 2021, our SSD holding period will only start from July 2021. This means that if we choose to sell the flat away after serving our seven years MOP in July 2023, we would still have to pay SSD since the start date of SSD is from the date of agreement for lease.

If we were to acquire a property by transfer such as inheritance or divorce, the three-year holding period would start from the date of transfer.

Read Also: Effective Interest Rates VS Simple Interest Rates: Here’s What You Need To Know About The Loans You’re Paying For

Sellers’s Stamp Duty Ranges From 12%, 8% And 4%, Depending On The Year Of Sale

If we wish to sell our property within three years from the date of purchase or acquisition, we need to pay between 4% and 12% of the actual price or market value of the property, whichever is higher. The SSD percentage payable depends on the length of the holding period. The longer we hold out, the lower the percentage of SSD we will need to pay.

Holding Period SSD Rate (on the actual price or market value, whichever is higher)
Up to 1 year 12%
More than 1 year and up to 2 years 8%
More than 2 years and up to 3 years 4%
More than 3 years  No SSD payable

Source: IRAS

The above rates apply for property purchase after 10th March 2017. For example, if we purchased a condominium unit for $1 million on 30 June 2019, below would be the amount we would have to pay at each holding period.

Date Of Sale Holding Period (From 30 June 2022) SSD Payable
1 June 2023 Up to 1 year $1,000,000 X 12% = $120,000
1 June 2024 More than 1 year and up to 2 years $1,000,000 X 8% = $80,000
1 June 2025 More than 2 years and up to 3 years $1,000,000 X 4% = $40,000
1July 2025 More than 3 years $1,000,000 X 0% = $0


As seen above, the stamp duty payable is considerable for the first year and this is on top of the interest payable for our home loan. In the event we do need to pay for SSD, payment can be done through the e-Stamping Portal on IRAS.

Read Also: What Happens To Your Money After You Sell Your Flat In Singapore

Scenarios When Sellers Are Exempted From SSD

Regardless, there are cases when sellers may be exempted from paying SSD. These scenarios include:

  1. Property owners whose property is being acquired by the government under the Land Acquisitions Act
  2. Property owners who are declared bankrupt and are required to liquidate their property
  3. Under the Residential Property Act, foreigners do not need to pay SSD
  4. Flat owners’ whose flats are identified under SERS that sold off their flat before HDB claimed the flat
  5. Repossession of flat by HDB due to SERS or other refund reasons
  6. If we inherit a HDB flat while owning one and are required by HDB to dispose of the inherited flat
  7. If we marry another person that owns a HDB flat while owning a HDB flat and is required by HDB to dispose of either one of the flat

The above cases are usually due to legislative powers or existing policies. In such scenarios, the government would exempt SSD for property owners that are selling their properties.

This article was originally published on 4 August 2021 and has been updated to reflect the latest information.

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