Consider abolishing seller's stamp duty for collective sales

The Government introduced the seller's stamp duty to impose tiered duties on owners who sell their properties within a stipulated holding period.

The intent of the seller's stamp duty was to counter speculation in the hot real estate market during the time of its introduction.

The recent Tampines Court collective sale raises the question of whether the Government should abolish the seller's stamp duty for collective sales (Tampines Court owners get more time to pay seller's stamp duty; Sept 13).

Given that other mechanisms are in place, such as the additional buyer's stamp duty and total debt servicing ratio, the objective of curbing speculation in the real estate industry is alreadybeing achieved.

The seller's stamp duty should be waived in cases of collective sales, because such sales are not solely the result of a decision by a single home owner.

There is no reason for those few who purchased a property to live in to be penalised for a collective sale decision made by more than 80 per cent of home owners within the estate.

I can empathise with the ordeal that the Tampines Court households who have to pay a few hundred thousand dollars for the seller's stamp duty are being put through.

I hope that the Ministry of National Development will review the necessity of keeping the seller's stamp duty for collective sales, and ensure that our policies are kept relevant and not solely for revenue-generation purposes.

Jason Soon Hun Khim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2017, with the headline 'Consider abolishing seller's stamp duty for collective sales'. Print Edition | Subscribe