Photo of Matilda Sundeck Punggol from HDB website

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) today (Nov 28) announced that Singaporeans living in HDB residential leasing will be charged lower property taxes due to the falling rental pricing.

Tax savings range around S$20 for each housing type i.e. three-room flat owners will have to pay up to S$18.40, down from S$37.60 previously. Property taxes are calculated based on potential market rate rental and is payable even when a HDB housing is technically a 99-year-lease, or even lesser for older HDB apartments. All HDB “owners” are tenants while the real ownership of the property remains as the Housing Development Board (HDB).

Technically, property taxes levied on HDB housing is a wrong tax because HDB apartment “owners” do not own the property and will have to vacate once their lease is up. As most HDB flats were first built in the 1960s, the latent reality will only surface some thirty years later in 2050s.