Inheritance Tax in Singapore: Payable Duties on Inherited Properties and Estate Wealth

by | Jun 22, 2023

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In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about inheritance tax in Singapore in a simple and easy-to-understand way.

We’ll explore what inheritance tax is, whether it’s payable in Singapore, the tax rates for inherited properties, and the key factors that influence inheritance tax.

Whether you’re an 18-year-old with no prior knowledge of the subject or just looking to brush up on your understanding, and will provide you with the essential information to navigate the world of inheritance tax in Singapore.¬†

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaway Explanation
Inheritance Tax in Singapore Singapore does not have inheritance tax on properties or assets inherited after a person’s death. However, other taxes and duties such as estate duty, stamp duties, and property tax may be applicable in certain circumstances.
Tax Rates and Factors in Singapore Singapore does not have specific inheritance tax rates, but other taxes and duties may be chargeable on inherited properties and assets. These rates are influenced by factors like property tax rates, market value, and stamp duties, which are subject to change.
Property Tax in Singapore Property tax is levied on properties in Singapore, including residential and commercial properties. It is calculated based on the property’s annual value, determined by the government. Rates vary depending on property type and annual value.
Stamp Duties on Inherited Properties Stamp duties are payable on inherited properties in Singapore, including residential and commercial properties. Rates vary based on factors like property market value, property type, and purchase date.
Wealth Tax in Singapore Singapore currently does not have a wealth tax, but there are other taxes and duties that may be payable on assets, such as estate duty and stamp duties.
Impact of Residential Properties Inherited residential properties in Singapore are not subject to inheritance tax, but they may be subject to property tax. Residential properties generally have higher property tax rates compared to commercial properties.
Exemptions and Thresholds Singapore provides exemptions and thresholds for inherited properties. For example, properties with an annual value below S$30,000 may be exempt from property tax. Properties purchased before 15 February 2008 may also be exempt from property tax.
Inheritance Tax for Foreigners Foreigners who inherit properties in Singapore may be subject to the same taxes and duties as Singaporean residents. Tax rates depend on factors such as property type, market value, and residency status of the inheritor.
Estate Duty in Singapore Estate duty is a tax levied on the estate of a deceased person in Singapore. It is calculated based on the value of the deceased person’s assets at the time of death. Rates vary based on estate value and the relationship of beneficiaries to the deceased.
Annual Value and Market Value The annual value of a property in Singapore is the estimated yearly rent it would fetch if leased. Market value is the estimated selling price in the open market. Both values are important for determining tax rates on inherited properties.
Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) is a tax on properties purchased by foreigners or individuals who own multiple properties in Singapore. Inherited properties may also be subject to ABSD, depending on factors like property type and the purchaser’s residency status.
Exemptions for Non-Residential Non-residential properties, such as industrial properties and land, are generally exempt from property tax in Singapore. However, other taxes and duties, like stamp duties and ABSD, may still apply.
HDB Flat Inheritance Tax There is no inheritance tax on HDB flats in Singapore. However, other taxes and fees may be payable on these properties.
Exemptions for Pre-2008 Properties Inherited properties purchased before 15 February 2008 may be exempt from property tax in Singapore. However, other taxes like estate duty and stamp duty may still apply.
IRAS’ Form for Inheritance Tax The Inland Revenue

Understanding Inheritance Tax in Singapore: An Overview

Understanding Inheritance Tax in Singapore: An Overview

What is Inheritance Tax?

Inheritance tax is a tax on assets that are inherited by individuals after a deceased person’s death.

The tax is levied on the inheritor of the assets and is generally calculated based on the value of the assets at the time of death.

 

Is Inheritance Tax Payable in Singapore?

In Singapore, there is no inheritance tax on properties or assets that are inherited after a person’s death.

However, there are other taxes and duties that may be payable in certain circumstances, such as estate duty, stamp duties, and property tax.

 

What are the Tax Rates for Inheritance Tax in Singapore?

As mentioned earlier, Singapore does not have an inheritance tax.

However, there are other taxes and duties that may be chargeable on properties and other assets that are inherited.

These tax rates are subject to change from time to time and are generally influenced by various factors such as property tax rates, market value, and stamp duties.

Key Factors Influencing Inheritance Tax in Singapore

Property Tax in Singapore

Property tax is a tax levied on properties in Singapore, including residential and commercial properties.

It is calculated based on a property’s annual value, which the Singapore government determines.

Property tax rates vary depending on the type of property and its annual value.

 

Stamp Duties on Inherited Properties

Stamp duty is a tax levied on documents that are related to the purchase or transfer of properties or assets.

In Singapore, stamp duties are payable on inherited properties, which include residential and commercial properties.

The stamp duty rates vary depending on various factors, such as the market value of the property, property type, and the date of purchase.

 

Wealth Tax in Singapore

Singapore does not have a wealth tax, which is a tax levied on the value of a person’s total assets, including cash, investments, and properties.

However, some other taxes and duties may be payable on assets, such as estate duties and stamp duties.

Navigating Property Tax and Inheritance Tax in Singapore

Impact of Residential Properties on Inheritance Tax

There is no inheritance tax on properties in Singapore.

However, inherited properties may be subject to property tax, which is a tax levied on properties in Singapore.

The tax is calculated based on the annual value of the property and the property tax rates applicable to the type of property.

Residential properties typically have higher property tax rates compared to commercial properties.

 

Exemptions and Thresholds for Inherited Properties

There are certain exemptions and thresholds that apply to inherited properties in Singapore.

For example, if you inherit a property that has an annual value of less than S$30,000, you may be exempt from paying property tax.

Additionally, if you inherit a property that was purchased before 15 February 2008, you may also be exempt from paying property tax.

 

Inheritance Tax for Foreigners

Foreigners who inherit properties in Singapore may be subject to the same taxes and duties as Singaporean residents.

The tax rates may vary depending on various factors such as the type of property, the market value, and the residency status of the inheritor.

Exploring the Different Types of Taxes on Inherited Properties

Estate Duty in Singapore

Estate duty is a tax levied on the estate of a deceased person in Singapore.

It is calculated based on the value of the deceased person’s assets at the time of death.

Estate duty rates vary depending on the value of the estate and the relationship of the beneficiaries to the deceased person.

 

Annual Value and Market Value of Inherited Properties

The annual value of a property is the estimated yearly rent that the property would fetch if it was let out on lease.

The market value of a property is the estimated price at which the property would sell if it was sold in the open market.

Both these values are important in determining the tax rates applicable to inherited properties in Singapore.

 

Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) on Inherited

Properties

Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) is a tax levied on properties that are purchased by foreigners or individuals who already own one or more properties in Singapore.

Inherited properties may also be subject to ABSD in certain circumstances, such as when the inheritor already owns one or more properties.

ABSD rates vary depending on various factors, such as the type of property and the residency status of the purchaser.

Inheritance Tax Exemptions and Thresholds in Singapore

Inheritance Tax Exemptions and Thresholds in Singapore

Exemptions for Non-Residential Properties

Non-residential properties such as industrial properties and land are generally exempt from property tax in Singapore.

However, there may be other taxes and duties that are payable on these types of properties, such as stamp duties and ABSD.

 

Need to Pay Inheritance Tax for HDB Flat?

There is no inheritance tax payable on HDB flats in Singapore.

However, there may be other taxes and fees that are payable on these types of properties.

 

Exemptions for Properties Inherited before 15 February

2008

If you inherit a property that was purchased before 15 February 2008, you may be exempt from paying property tax on the property.

However, there may be other taxes and duties that are payable on the property, such as estate duty and stamp duty.

How to Calculate and Pay Inheritance Tax in Singapore

IRAS’ Form for Inheritance Tax

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) is responsible for administering and collecting taxes in Singapore.

If you inherit a property or asset that is subject to tax in Singapore, you will be required to fill up an IRAS form and submit it along with the relevant documents.

 

Calculating Inheritance Tax Payable in Singapore

The calculation of inheritance tax payable in Singapore varies depending on the applicable tax type or duty.

For example, estate duty is calculated based on the value of the estate at the time of death, while property tax is calculated based on the annual value of the property.

It is important to consult with a qualified tax professional or lawyer to better understand the tax regulations and how they apply to your situation.

 

Paying Inheritance Tax and Stamp Duties

Once you have calculated the inheritance tax and stamp duties payable on your inherited assets, you will need to pay them within the stipulated time period to avoid penalties or fines.

You can make payments through various channels, such as banks or online payment portals.

It is important to keep proper records and documentation of all tax payments made.

By understanding the inheritance tax system in Singapore, you can make informed decisions regarding the inheritance you may receive or the estate you leave behind.

Seek professional advice if you need further clarification on any tax-related matter.

Managing Estate Duty and its Implications for Inheritances

Managing Estate Duty and its Implications for Inheritances

Understanding Estate Duty

Estate Duty is a form of inheritance tax that applies to individuals who pass away with assets in Singapore.

This tax is imposed on the total market value of all movable and immovable assets owned by the deceased at the time of his/her death.

This tax is payable by the estate of the deceased before the transfer of assets can take place to the heirs or beneficiaries.

The estate duty regime was abolished in Singapore in 2008, but it was reintroduced in 2015 due to the need to address wealth inequality in Singapore.

The estate duty tax rate ranges from 0% to 20% and is subject to a $3.0 million exemption threshold.

This means that if the total value of assets left behind by the deceased is below $3.0 million, no estate duty is payable.

 

How Estate Duty is Calculated

Estate Duty is calculated based on the total net value of an individual’s estate.

This includes all assets held by the deceased, whether the property is held in Singapore or outside Singapore.

Assets that are subject to estate duty include immovable assets in Singapore, such as private property, landed property, and real property.

It also includes movable assets such as bank accounts, vehicles, and other personal possessions.

There are certain deductions that can be made when calculating estate duty.

For example, maintenance fees and the cost of funeral expenses can be deducted from the total value of the estate.

 

Exemptions from Estate Duty

There are certain exemptions that apply to estate duty in Singapore.

For example, if the deceased was a Singapore citizen who died while domiciled in Singapore, their estate will be subject to estate duty regardless of where their assets are located.

If the deceased was not domiciled in Singapore, their estate will only be subject to estate duty if they owned immovable assets in Singapore at the time of their death.

There are also certain types of assets that are exempt from estate duty, such as assets held in trust and assets that have already been taxed as income, such as employment income, investment income, and rental income.

The Role of Stamp Duties in Inherited Property Transactions

What Stamp Duty is and How it Works

Another tax that comes into play when dealing with inherited property is stamp duty.

This is a tax that is imposed on all property purchases and transactions in Singapore.

Stamp duty is payable on the total market value of the property being acquired or transferred.

The rate of stamp duty payable varies depending on the type of property and the total value of the property.

For example, if you are acquiring private property in Singapore, the stamp duty payable is calculated based on a tiered system that takes into account the value of the property.

The higher the value of the property, the higher the tax rate payable.

 

Stamp Duty Rates for Inherited Properties

When it comes to inherited properties, the same stamp duty rates apply as for any other property transaction.

The stamp duty payable is based on the value of the property and the type of property being acquired or transferred.

However, if the inherited property is the only property that the beneficiary owns, they may be entitled to a remission of stamp duty under certain conditions.

For example, if the property is passed on to a spouse, there is no stamp duty payable.

 

Ways to Minimize Stamp Duty Payable

There are certain strategies that can be used to minimize the amount of stamp duty payable when acquiring or transferring inherited property.

For example, if the beneficiary already owns a property in Singapore, they may be eligible for a lower tax rate.

They can also choose to hold the property as joint tenants instead of tenants-in-common, which can help reduce the amount of stamp duty payable.

Wealth Tax Considerations for Inherited Assets in Singapore

Wealth Tax Considerations for Inherited Assets in Singapore

Understanding Wealth Tax

Wealth tax is another form of tax that can have implications for inheritances in Singapore.

This tax is levied on the total amount of an individual’s assets, regardless of whether they were acquired through inheritance or otherwise.

Currently, Singapore does not have a form of wealth tax.

However, there have been discussions about introducing a wealth tax in the future due to concerns about the concentration of wealth among the top 1% of Singaporeans.

 

What Assets are Subject to Wealth Tax

If a wealth tax is introduced in Singapore, it is likely that all assets owned by individuals will be subject to the tax.

This includes both movable and immovable assets, as well as any assets held in trusts or other vehicles.

 

Exemptions and Reliefs Available for Wealth Tax

As wealth tax is not currently in place in Singapore, there are no exemptions or reliefs available.

If this tax is introduced in the future, it is likely that there will be exemptions and reliefs available similar to those for estate duty and income tax.

Inheritance Tax vs. Capital Gains Tax: Understanding the Differences

Defining Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax

Capital gains tax is a tax that is levied on the gains made on the sale of an asset.

Inheritance tax, on the other hand, is a tax that is imposed on the transfer of assets from one generation to another, usually upon the death of the owner of the assets.

 

Key Differences Between Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance

Tax

One of the key differences between these two taxes is the timing of the taxation.

Capital gains tax is only payable when the asset is sold, whereas inheritance tax is payable upon the transfer of the asset.

Another difference is the rate of tax payable.

Capital gains tax rates are typically lower than inheritance tax rates.

 

When to Pay Capital Gains Tax Instead of Inheritance Tax

If an asset has been acquired through inheritance and the beneficiary decides to sell the asset later, it may be subject to capital gains tax.

This tax is payable on the gains made on the sale of the asset.

However, if the beneficiary decides to hold onto the asset and pass it on to their own heirs, they will be subject to inheritance tax instead of capital gains tax.

Essential Estate Planning Strategies to Minimize Inheritance Tax

Essential Estate Planning Strategies to Minimize Inheritance Tax

Creating a Comprehensive Estate Plan

One of the most important strategies for minimizing inheritance tax is to create a comprehensive estate plan.

This plan should include a will, which sets out how the individual’s assets will be distributed upon their death.

It should also include trusts and other vehicles that can help minimize the amount of tax payable.

 

Maximizing Exemptions and Deductions

There are certain exemptions and deductions that can be used to minimize inheritance tax in Singapore.

For example, the $3.0 million exemption threshold for estate duty can be maximized by gifting assets prior to death.

Charitable donations can also be used to reduce the amount of tax payable.

 

Choosing the Right Ownership Structure

The ownership structure of assets can also have implications for inheritance tax.

Joint tenancy is often used to minimize tax payable, as it allows for the transfer of assets without the need for probate.

Other structures, such as trusts, can also be used to minimize the amount of tax payable.

As Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a former Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, once said, Estate planning is not just for the rich, but for anyone who has assets and wants to ensure they are distributed in accordance with their wishes.

By understanding the various tax implications of inheritances in Singapore and implementing appropriate strategies, it is possible to manage the transfer of wealth in a more efficient and effective manner.

Legal and Financial Implications of Inheriting a Property in Singapore

Understanding Inheritance Tax and Stamp Duties Payable

In Singapore, inheritance tax is not applicable.

However, stamp duties may apply to the transfer of ownership of immovable property such as residential and commercial real estate.

Movable property, such as motor vehicles and furniture, on the other hand, are exempted from stamp duties.

The rate of stamp duty payable depends on the market rental rate of the property at the time of the transfer.

 

Inherited Properties: Movable and Immovable

When it comes to inherited properties, it is important to differentiate between movable and immovable properties.

While stamp duties only apply to the transfer of ownership of immovable property, both movable and immovable property are subject to estate duty or inheritance tax in other countries.

 

Responsibilities of an Accountable Person

The accountable person is responsible for administering the estate of the deceased.

This includes paying any outstanding liabilities, distributing the assets to the beneficiaries, and ensuring that all tax obligations are met.

If the deceased did not leave a will, the next of kin may apply for letters of administration to administer the estate.

Overseas Inheritance: Tax Obligations for Properties Outside Singapore

Overseas Inheritance: Tax Obligations for Properties Outside Singapore

The Rate of Property Tax for Inherited Properties Outside

Singapore

If you have inherited a property located outside Singapore, you may be subject to inheritance tax or property tax in that particular country.

The tax rates and obligations vary depending on the country and the number of properties inherited.

 

Inheritance Taxes and Property Taxes in Hong Kong and

Other Asian Countries

In Hong Kong, inheritance tax was abolished in 2006.

However, if you inherit a property in Hong Kong, you may be subject to property tax.

Other countries in Asia such as Japan and South Korea also have inheritance tax systems in place.

 

Administration and Late Payment Penalties for Overseas

Inheritance Tax

If you are subject to inheritance tax or property tax in a foreign country, you need to comply with the regulations and deadlines set by the tax authority.

Late payment penalties may apply if you fail to meet the payment deadlines.

Inheritance Tax in Comparison to Other Countries in Asia

The Abolishment of Estate Duty in Singapore

Since 2008, estate duty or inheritance tax has been abolished in Singapore.

This has led to an increase in the number of wealthy individuals choosing to reside in Singapore due to the lower tax rates.

 

Current Economic Contribution of Wealthy Individuals in

Singapore

Wealthy individuals in Singapore contribute significantly to the economy through their investments and spending.

Singapore is also a wealth management hub, attracting high-net-worth individuals from around the world.

 

Laws and Legal Actions for Omitted Assets and Businesses

If the deceased omitted any assets or businesses from the will, legal actions may be taken to recover these assets.

The omission of assets and businesses may lead to delays in the administration of the estate and additional legal costs.

Current Developments and Future Trends in Inheritance Tax in Singapore

Current Developments and Future Trends in Inheritance Tax in Singapore

The Potential Introduction of a Wealth Tax in Singapore

There have been talks of introducing a wealth tax system in Singapore.

Should this be implemented, it may affect the tax obligations of inherited properties and the tax planning strategies of wealthy individuals.

 

The Role of Singapore in Wealth Management and Asset

Management of Inherited Properties

Singapore has established itself as a leading wealth and asset management hub in Asia.

Local and international banks as well as wealth management firms offer a range of services for the management and investment of inherited properties.

 

Charitable Purposes and the Use of Inherited Properties for

Public Benefit

Inherited properties may also be used for charitable purposes and public benefit.

This can be achieved through donations or the establishment of charitable trusts.

Conclusion

Understanding the inheritance tax system in Singapore is essential for anyone involved in transferring assets from one generation to another.

While Singapore does not impose inheritance tax, some other taxes and duties may be payable, such as estate duty, stamp duties, and property tax.

Property tax rates vary based on the type and annual value of the property, while stamp duty rates depend on the market value and type of property.

It is important to be aware of the exemptions and thresholds that apply to inherited properties and the potential tax implications for foreigners inheriting properties in Singapore.

However, stamp duties may apply to transferring ownership of immovable property such as residential and commercial real estate.

If you inherited a property outside Singapore, you may be subject to inheritance tax or property tax in that particular country.

It is important to comply with the regulations and deadlines the tax authority sets to avoid late payment penalties.

Singapore is a wealth management hub in Asia, attracting high-net-worth individuals from around the world.

The introduction of a wealth tax system may affect the tax obligations of inherited properties and the tax planning strategies of wealthy individuals.

To delve deeper into the topic and gain a comprehensive understanding of estate planning, capital gains tax, wealth tax, and legal and financial implications of inheriting a property in Singapore, we encourage you to explore our other blog articles.

By arming yourself with knowledge and seeking professional advice when needed, you can navigate the complexities of inheritance tax and make informed decisions that align with your goals and aspirations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Inheritance Tax Singapore?

Inheritance Tax Singapore is the tax payable on the total value of an individual’s estate after they have passed away.

What is the tax rate for Inheritance Tax in Singapore?

In Singapore, there is currently no inheritance tax.

However, there may be other fees and taxes payable, such as stamp duties and property tax.

Do I need to pay maintenance fees on inherited property?

If you inherit a property, you will be responsible for paying any maintenance fees associated with the property as the new owner.

Do I need to pay stamp duties on inherited property?

If you inherit a property, you may need to pay stamp duties on the transfer of ownership.

The amount of duty payable will depend on the value of the property.

Is there a Goods and Services Tax on inherited property?

Generally, there is no Goods and Services Tax (GST) payable on inherited property.

However, GST may still be payable on any services related to the property such as renovation or maintenance.

Do I need to keep the property to inherit it?

No, you do not need to keep the property to inherit it.

You can choose to sell the property if you wish.

What happens if I inherited an HDB flat?

If you inherit an HDB flat, you will need to pay property tax and may be subject to additional rules and regulations as the new owner of the property.

Who is liable for the estate duty upon death?

The estate duty is charged on the total market value of an individual’s estate and is payable by the executor or administrator of the estate.

Is Inheritance Tax Singapore a progressive tax?

Inheritance Tax Singapore does not exist, but if it did, it would likely be a progressive tax, meaning that the tax rate would increase for larger estates.

Are gifts made by the deceased subject to Inheritance Tax in Singapore?

If Inheritance Tax Singapore existed, gifts made by the deceased before their death may still be subject to the tax.

Is the owner of the property domiciled in Singapore subject to Inheritance Tax?

Whether or not the owner of the property is domiciled in Singapore would not affect the application for Inheritance Tax as it currently does not exist in Singapore.

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