IRAS property tax bills in Singapore are traditionally sent by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) on December 31 each year, while property owners can also use the IRAS property tax calculator to estimate their 2020 property tax payment.

Words Tax Guide Singapore Budget 2020 Property Tax Support over background of Singapore urban buildings and housing projects

This property tax bill reflects the amount to be paid for each property based on its annual value and the applicable tax rate. For owner-occupied properties, the rate varies from 0% to 16% depending on the property’s appraised value, while for non-owner-occupied properties the rate fluctuates between 10% and 20%.

Commercial properties are taxed at a flat rate of 10% as long as they are classified as land, commercial real estate, or industrial buildings.

As part of the Singapore government’s measures to assist property owners and tenants during the coronavirus health emergency, the Resilience and Solidarity FY 2020 Budget grants IRAS property tax rebates of up to 100% for non-residential property owners that must be ultimately passed on to tenants.

The following article outlines further details about these measures and how they affect property tax in Singapore for 2020.

COVID-19 Relief Measures Affecting the IRAS Property Tax 

According to the information released by IRAS regarding this relief, owners of non-owner-occupied properties in Singapore can expect tax rebates ranging from 30% to 100% of their property tax bill, depending on the type of property.  The rebate aims to help businesses and taxpayers deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As such, owners of qualifying properties are legally obliged to unconditionally and fully pass on the rebate. They may opt to either reduce or offset current or future rentals or issue an equivalent payment to their tenants within the prescribed timeframe.

The following list contains the specific percentage of rebate applicable to different types of properties:

  • 100% Tax Rebate – Hotels, serviced apartments, buildings used for meetings and gatherings, international airports, cruise and ferry terminals, tourist attractions, shops, and restaurants.
  • 60% Tax Rebate – Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa.
  • 30% Tax Rebate – Other premises used for purposes not included in the above-mentioned list and premises that are located or used in connection to the ones included in the 60% tax rebate list above.

It is also important to note that these rebates do not apply to properties used for residential purposes or to facilities that are exclusively designed to serve residential property owners or occupants such as gyms, clubs, or meeting facilities. Additionally, no IRAS property tax rebates were granted to vacant land or land being developed or redeveloped. 

The IRAS will officially issue and communicate these rebates to property owners by the end of May 2020 and refunds should be received by the end of June 2020.

Meanwhile, GIRO arrangements will not be deducted from April to December 2020 while any property taxes paid in excess by property owners as a result of the net amount between the tax rebate and the formerly paid GIRO installments will offset future GIRO payments.

Seeking Professional Advice to Pay your IRAS Property Tax

There’s a certain degree of complexity in estimating the ultimate impact of tax rebates, especially for individuals and businesses that hold a significant number of properties used for different purposes.

Seeking professional advice from a qualified tax professional is highly recommended to ensure any IRAS property tax payment is calculated accurately as well as to maximize tax savings and ease the tax filing process.

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