What you need to know about stamp duty for rental units in Singapore
Stamp duty is a tax on documents that are related to the purchase or lease of a property. In Singapore, in addition to the monthly rent and security deposit, a tenant is required to pay a tax upon signing the tenancy agreement. The rental stamp duty is payable when a tenant:
Rents the entire property or part of a residential property (e.g. room rental)
Agrees to renew or extend the lease renting of entire apartments and rooms
Who pays for the rental stamp duty?
The tenancy agreement would usually state who is liable for the rental stamp duty, but it’s usually the tenant. If it’s not stated in the rental agreement, the tenant will have to pay for it, as specified in the Third Schedule of the Stamp Duties Act. The tenant may also request their agent (if applicable) to assist with this if they are unfamiliar with the process.
How much stamp duty for rental are you supposed to pay?
When should the rental stamp duty be paid?
Technically, a tenancy agreement is required to be stamped before tenants sign it. However, for practicality, this almost always never happens. In reality, a tenancy agreement can still be stamped, with no penalty, if it is done within either of the following time frames:
Within 14 days after signing the document if it is signed in Singapore or
Within 30 days after receiving the document in Singapore if the document is signed overseas
Where can tenants get their tenancy agreement stamped?
If tenants choose to proceed with stamping of their documents themselves, they can do so at their own convenience via the IRAS e-Stamping portal. They may also choose to e-Stamp it at the e-kiosk at the Taxpayer & Business Centre at Revenue House. Once payment has been made, you’ll receive a copy of the Stamp Certificate from the portal. Alternatively, you can head down to one of these SingPost Service Bureaus to do it in person:
Novena Post Office at Revenue House
Raffles Post Office at Ocean Financial Centre
Shenton Way Post Office at Downtown Galley
Chinatown Post Office at People’s Park Centre
Penalties for late payment of the rental stamp duty
Actions can be taken by the authorities if you fail to pay the rental stamp duty on time.
For late payments not exceeding three months, a penalty of S$10 or an amount equal to the duty payable, whichever is greater, will be imposed.
For late payments exceeding three months, a penalty of S$25 or four times of the duty payable, whichever is greater, will be imposed.
For landlords, it is a common concern to wonder whether their tenants have paid their stamp duties on the tenancy agreement.
Fret not — there’s a way to find out if your tenant has paid the rental stamp duty. You can verify the Stamp Certificate through the e-Stamping portal by keying in the following:
Document Reference Number
Stamp Certificate Reference Number
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