The Ministry of Finance stated late Sunday night that a 35 percent Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) would be charged on any transfer of a residential property into a living trust that happens after May 9. (May 8).

ABSD may or may not be due on such a transfer, depending on the profile of the beneficial owner of the residential property transferred into the trust under existing legislation.

ABSD does not apply if the living trust is constructed such that there is no identified beneficiary at the time of transfer. For this reason, the government has introduced the “ABSD (Trust)” at a level of 35%, according to a press statement from MOF (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

Abandoned residential property transfers should be covered by the new law, which the ministry says applies to all living trusts, regardless of whether there are identified beneficiaries to the residential property transferred into the trust.

The ABSD (Trust) is a one-time payment due at the time of the transfer. It is possible for a trustee to request for a refund of the ABSD (Trust) if specific requirements, such as the identification and vesting in each person of all of the beneficial owners of the residential property, are satisfied.

Refund requests must be submitted to Singapore’s Inland Revenue Authority (IRA) within six months after the instrument’s execution date.

New property releases may have put purchasers who had previously been exempt from ABSD in jeopardy because of a strong reaction to them in the limelight.

Nationals and permanent residents of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, as well as citizens of the United States, get the same stamp duty treatment as Singapore citizens under several of Singapore’s Free Trade Agreements.