Stamp duty for Rental Units in Singapore: A Complete Guide

property tax and interest

Stamp duty on rental units are taxes on tenancy agreement documents. Tenants are required to pay this tax as long as they are renting, whether it's a room or entire unit. This stamp duty is paid to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).

The tenancy agreement will only come into effect once the stamp duty has been paid and all the relevant stamps and seals are in place. The stamp duty on rental units also applies to extension of lease, or renewal of the tenancy agreement.

In this article, we'll take a look at rental stamp duty and the amount of stamp duty you need to pay for rental units. 

 

Stamp duty for rental units: An Overview

Who pays the stamp duty?

Usually paid for by the tenant

How is stamp duty calculated?

0.4% of the total rent for the period of the lease period is four years below, or four times the Average Annual Rent if the lease period is more than four years

When should you pay stamp duty?

Before the landlord and the tenant signs the tenancy agreement

How to pay the stamp duty?

FAST (for DBS/ POSB Accounts), AXS Kiosk machines, eNETS, bank transfer, GIRO, cashier cheque, and more.

 

Stamp duty for rental units in Singapore: Who pays for it?

The Stamp Duty on rental units is usually paid for by the tenant. There are however cases where it is negotiated that the landlord will bear the cost. To avoid dispute, tenants should always state the payee of the stamp duty in the tenancy agreement.

In case of a dispute and the tenancy agreement does not state who is responsible for the payment, IRAS will follow that which is specified in the Third Schedule of the Stamp Duties Act. Tenants who are unfamiliar with this process can get an agent to assist them.

 

How much stamp duty are you supposed to pay?

The stamp duty amount is computed based on the total monthly rental amount and the duration of the rental. The monthly rates are determined by either the market rental rate or the declared rental, whichever is higher.

Rental stamp duty in Singapore: How is it calculated?

Average Annual Rent (AAR)

Stamp Duty Rates

Lease period of four years or less

0.4% of total rent for the period of the lease

Lease period of more than four years or for any indefinite term

0.4% of four times the AAR for the period of the lease

An exception: if the AAR does not exceed $1000 (which is very rarely the case), stamp duty is exempted.

An example of rental stamp duty is as below:

Total monthly rental$4,000
Lease period24 months
Total rental$96,000
Total Payable Stamp Duty$96,000 x 0.4% = $384 

 

When should you pay the rental stamp duty?

The standard practice is for the tenancy agreement to be stamped and the stamp duty to be paid before the landlord and the tenant signs the document. This is however a grey area, and usually no penalty will be levied if the stamp duty is paid within 14 days of the tenancy agreement being signed in Singapore, and 30 days if it is being signed overseas.

 

Steps to paying stamp duty online:

1. Login in via Singpass on the IRAS e-Stamping portal

2. Select "Payments and Transactions"

3. Enter your Search criteria 

4. Make the payment

5. Retrieve the payment slip

6. Retrieve your stamp certificate after successful payment

 

What are the documents needed to pay the stamp duty?

1. Your Singpass login and password

2. Tenancy agreement document's details (eg. reference number)

3. Identity details of contractual individuals (tenant and landlord)

 

Tenancy agreement: Where else can you get it stamped?

The easiest and fastest way is to e-stamp your tenancy agreement online on IRAS website. Alternatively, you can visit these four Service Bureaus at SingPost. However, you'll need to fill in the requisition form and there will also be a service fee. Alternatively, you can visit any of the locations listed below and get it done manually.

BranchAddressOpening Hours 
Novena Post Office Revenue House
55 Newton Road
#01-02
Singapore 307987

Mon - Fri: 8.30am - 5.30pm

Sat: 8.30am - 1.00pm

Raffles Place Post Office Ocean Financial Centre
10 Collyer Quay
#B1-11
Singapore 049315

Mon - Fri:  8.30am - 6.00pm

 

Shenton Way Post Office 

Downtown Gallery

6A Shenton Way

#03-23

Singapore 068815

Mon - Fri: 8.30am - 6.00pm

 

Note: Closed until further notice.

Chinatown Post Office 

People's Park Centre

101 Upper Cross Street

#B1-17A

Singapore 058357

Mon - Fri: 9.30am - 6.00pm

Sat: 9.30am - 2.00pm

 

Where do you pay stamp duty?

Stamp duties can be done via FAST (for DBS/ POSB Accounts), AXS Kiosk machines, eNETS, bank transfer, GIRO, cashier cheque, and more. But the amount must be paid in full as there are no instalments. 

Payment Options

1. FAST via DBS/ POSB Account

2. AXS Kiosk (Nets only)

  • Payment limit of $3,000 or your debit card’s daily payment limit, whichever is lower
  • Stamp certificate available immediately
  • Click here (PDF, 1410KB) for payment instructions
  • Click here (PDF, 437KB) for FAQs on AXS payment

3. AXS Mobile and AXS Website

  • Payment limit of $9,999.99 or your debit/credit card’s daily payment limit, whichever is lower
  • Stamp certificate available immediately
  • Click here (PDF, 1,072KB) for payment instructions

4. eNETS

  • Must have an existing internet banking account with DBS/POSB, UOB, OCBC, Citibank or Standard Chartered Bank.
  • Subject to your internet banking daily payment limit
  • Stamp certificate available immediately

5. Internet Banking Fund Transfer

  • Stamp certificate available 2 working days after payment
  • Payee: 0010468600 
  • Account number: Commissioner of Inland Revenue or IRAS

6. Cheque / Cashier’s Order

  • Stamp certificate available 5 working days after payment
  • Read further instructions on IRAS website

7. GIRO

8. Conveyancing Account

9. Cash

  • Download payment slip from e-stamping portal
  • Only available at SingPost service bureaus*
  • Fees applicable

10. CPF (Handled by law firms)

  • Only for Buyer’s Stamp Duty/ Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty
  • Subject to CPF’s regulations
  • Using CPF funds to pay Stamp Duty (including ABSD) is subject to the terms and conditions under the Private Properties and Public Housing Schemes
  • Read further instructions on IRAS website

 

Penalties for failing to pay the stamp duty

Neglecting or ignoring paying your Stamp Duty renders your Tenancy Agreement invalid. Should there be any conflict between the landlord and the tenant, they will have no legally binding agreement to govern their dispute. Aside from that, not paying Stamp Duty on your Tenancy Agreement is also equivalent to tax evasion and the authorities can take action against you.

Late payment penalty within 3 months

For late payments within 3 months there will be a $10 penalty, or an amount equivalent to the Stamp Duty, whichever is greater.

Late payment penalty exceeding 3 months

After 3 months, the penalty amount will increase to $25 or 4 times the amount of the Stamp Duty, whichever is greater.

As neglecting to pay your Stamp Duty is equivalent to tax evasion, tenants can expect the IRAS to start probing into their personal tax status if they evade payment for too long. Thereafter, the IRAS has the right to impose a fine of up to $5,000 plus interest based on IRAS’s own discretion. The consequences can be directed at both tenant and Landlord, so it’s better to just pay up.

Ideally, the tenant should send a receipt of the Stamp Duty payment to their Landlord. But in cases where this doesn’t happen, Landlords who are unsure of whether their tenant has paid the Stamp Duty, can log on to the IRAS website to check. All they will need is the stamp certificate reference number from the document.

 

More FAQs related to stamp duty for rental properties in Singapore

Who pays stamp duty for rental in Singapore?

This depends on the tenancy agreement, but is usually paid for by the tenant.

How much is stamp duty for rental in Singapore?

0.4% of the total rent for the period of the lease. 

Can I pay stamp duty online?

Yes you can. Stamp duties can be done via FAST (for DBS/ POSB Accounts), bank transfer, GIRO and more. 

Is rental income taxable in Singapore?

Yes, rental income is subject to income tax. Read more about it on the IRAS website here.

 

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