Forum: Request for waiver of ABSD denied

Blocks of HDB housing flats around  the central part of Singapore.
Blocks of HDB housing flats around the central part of Singapore.PHOTO: ST FILE

Shortly after graduating, I joined the workforce and added my name to the ownership of my parents' Housing Board flat to help in the payment of the mortgage.

I have been married now for several years and still do not own a property because I would end up paying the additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD).

I have appealed to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) to waive the ABSD that I would incur, but Iras rejected it.

It stated that "this ABSD treatment has been consistently applied to all Singaporeans in circumstances similar to mine", adding that it was unable to make an exception for my case.

Such application of the ABSD policy without considering specific circumstances seems inequitable and works against those of lower income.

I understand that the objective of the ABSD is to reduce demand for residential properties so that housing remains affordable for Singaporeans. But how many Singaporeans are in the same situation as me?

Is the number big enough to drive up property demand in Singapore if we were to be exempted from the ABSD?

I feel that a good and fair policy should consider the unique circumstances of individual cases. Consistency may not always be the right thing to do.

Cynthia Lim Sin Shyan