With effect from 1 January 2014, the Property Tax Act will be amended primarily to incorporate property tax changes announced in the 2013 Budget Statement.

The key changes are as follows:

  • Removing property tax refunds for vacant residential and non-residential properties: Currently, owners of some vacant properties may apply for property tax refunds, such as for those undergoing repairs to render them fit for occupation. With the change, owners whose properties are vacant due to repair works will be taxed at owner-occupied rates, similar to properties that have been torn down and rebuilt, provided that the properties are intended for owner-occupation after the works are completed. Claims for refunds in respect of any period falling between 1 November 2012 and 31 December 2013 (both dates inclusive) have to be made by 31 March 2014.
  • Progressive property tax rates: The Minister for Finance will be empowered to prescribe the types of properties which will be subject to the progressive property tax rates for residential properties introduced in the 2013 Budget Statement. All other properties will continue to be taxed at the rate of 10%.
  • Deadline for objections: The filing deadlines for objections and appeals for property owners against an amendment to the Valuation List or appeal to the Valuation Review Board against any decision of the Chief Assessor in relation to such objection will be extended from the current 21 days to 30 days.

The following orders have been issued pursuant to the Property Tax Act and will come into operation on 1 January 2014:

Property Tax (Rates for Residential Premises) Order 2013;

  • Property Tax (Rates for Non-Residential Premises) Order 2013; and
  • Property Tax (Progressive Tax Rates for Owner-Occupied Residential Premises) (Revocation) Order 2013.

Reference materials

The Second Reading Speech and the Second Reading Round-Up Speech in relation to the Property Tax (Amendment) Bill 2013 (the “Bill”) are available from the MOF website www.mof.gov.sg by clicking here and here.

An article about the Bill when it was introduced in Parliament was featured in a previous issue of our Legal Bulletin (September 2013). To read the article entitled “Property Tax (Amendment) Bill 2013 introduced in Parliament: Budget Statement changes”, please click here.