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Property Tax and Tax on Rental Income in Singapore


Property tax is levied on the registered owner of a property and is payable to the Inland Revenue Agency of Singapore (IRAS).

Property tax is imposed on immovable properties and is payable in advance each year or by monthly direct debit. The tax payable in respect of a property is calculated by applying the applicable tax rate to the estimated annual rent a property could fetch if it were rented out, termed the "annual value".

Owner-occupied residential properties benefit from progressive property tax rates.

Tax on rent income from a house or other property

In addition to the tax on property ownership, tax is payable to the government on rental income of a property. The owner of the property receiving the income is responsible for declaring and paying this tax, regardless of whether they are resident in the property. Tax on rent income is not a named tax in itself; rental income falls under the calculation of income tax.

The total rent received from the tenant must be declared. Total rent includes charges on the property, the furniture and fittings and service charges.

Expenses can be claimed against rental income on the property. Expenses incurred outside the period of tenancy cannot usually be claimed. However, if an owner can show that they intend to let out the property, these expenses may be considered.

If a property is jointly owned, each owners pays according to their share of the ownership.

The total rent and deductible expenses claimed must be reported when filing income tax returns. Tax will be calculated on the net rent, which is the total rent less total deductible expenses. Supporting documents do not need to be submitted but must be kept for seven years.

The following are deductible for tax purposes:

  • interest on a mortgage loan
  • property tax
  • fire insurance on the property
  • commission paid on getting a subsequent tenant
  • agent's commission, advertising, legal expenses and stamp duties for acquiring a subsequent tenant
  • cost of renewing a lease or getting a new tenant (except for the first tenant)
  • repairs and maintenance, which may include painting, pest control, and monthly maintenance charges to management corporations

The following are NOT deductible for tax purposes:

  • mortgage or bank loan repayments
  • agent's commission, advertising, legal expenses and stamp duties for acquiring a first tenant
  • depreciation of furniture and fixtures
  • costs of renovation, additions, and alterations to the property, for example extension or car porch

Further Information

 

Disclaimer
Tax law is complex and every effort has been made to offer information that is current, correct and clearly expressed. The information in this summary is intended to be no more than a general overview of the position and certain details have been deliberately omitted. The contents of this page should not be taken as an authoritative statement of Singapore tax law and practice. Neither the author nor the publisher are responsible for the results of actions taken on the basis of information contained in this summary, nor for any errors or omissions. This text is not intended to render legal, accounting or tax advice. Readers are encouraged to seek professional advice concerning specific matters before making any decision.