So is stamp duty rebate legal..?

By The Folks @PropTalk - January 30, 2012 6 Comments
This article appeared in The Straits Times forum page today.

Reference: "Is stamp duty reimbursement by property developer legal?" - The Straits Times Forum, 30 Jan 2012

While pondering over the questions raised by Samuel, the wife and I also wondered about "Free COE" offered by some car dealers and "GST Rebate" by retailers. Should these practices be deemed illegal as well?

And in all fairness, the stamp duty reimbursement by FEO (as we understand it) is offered not just to foreigners but for all buyers. However, we are unsure if foreigner gets a larger stamp duty rebate so maybe Sanuel knows something that we don't. (* would anyone from/marketing for FEO care to comment? *)

Here's our "2 cents" on the matter: Rebates that allow sellers (irrespective of product) to prop up their prices artifically should be prohibited. Any discount given should be straight off the selling price so that it is transparent to all parties concerned.


6 comments to ''So is stamp duty rebate legal..?"

  1. In the recent add buyer stamp duty, foreigner got to pay 10% stamp duty vs 0-3% for Singaporean. So it appears that they discriminating Singaporean

  2. Hi Anonymous (30/1/12, 9:55PM):

    Pardon us but we do not quite get your point: Do you imply that it will only be considered "fair on Singaporean" if developers provide the same % rebate on ABSD to both foreigner and Singaporean buyers, i.e. if foreign buyers get a 10% rebate, Singaporean should also get 10%...even though they may only be paying between 0 - 3% ABSD?

  3. I am not the anonymous@9.55 PM.

    But if the rebate is question were viewed as a sales discount, then such sales discount should be available to foreigners and Singaporeans. But that is the vendor's call (the vendor can choose who he wants to sell to and at which price to sell, based on a willing seller / willing buyer basis. If both parties happy, deal is struck).

    Also, for example, if there were a GST rebate (which is not applicable on the sales of residential units), this GST rebate is not illegal (as practised on some days by some departmental stores). Hence, a rebate which is equivalent to the amount of ABSD should not be illegal?

    my two little cents worth.

  4. Isn't our govt or ABSD discriminating in the first place?! Foreigners pay 10%, while Sporeans pay only 3% stamp duty? And what's wrong with a pte company giving discounts/rebates on their own products they sell? Like this also want govt to control?! Aren't we becoming a communist state?!

  5. Govt is discriminating is favor of its citizens (is that not a good thing)?

    Market will not crash. A slew of construction projects coming on-stream and which URA has approved.

    The economy will chug along nicely. In fact, there will be multiplier effects from the capex and expenditure from construction.

  6. Well, we Sporeans get to pay only 3% ABSD but want equal discount/rebates as foreigners I.e. 10%, else this Samuel Tan wants to make huge issue about it to govt, saying that developer has "illegally" dilute the effects of ABSD!