Estate Duty Act

(Original Enactment: Ordinance 11 of 1929)

(31st July 2001)
An Act to provide for the levy of estate duty payable in respect of the estates of deceased persons.
[1st July 1929]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Estate Duty Act.
2.  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“accountable person” means an executor or any other person upon whom there is imposed under the provisions of this Act any duty or liability to deliver to the Commissioner an estate duty return or an estate duty account or to pay any estate duty or to make any other payment leviable in consequence of the death of any person, or from whom any payment under this Act is leviable;
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Estate Duties appointed under section 4(1) and includes a Deputy Commissioner of Estate Duties;
“disposition” includes any trust, covenant, agreement or arrangement;
“encumbrances” includes mortgages and terminable charges;
“estate duty” means estate duty leviable under this Act;
“estate duty return” means the return, together with the accounts annexed thereto, determined under section 35;
“executor” means the executor or administrator of a deceased person, and includes, as regards any obligation under this Act, any person who takes possession of or intermeddles with the property of a deceased person and any person who has applied or is entitled to apply to any court for the grant or resealing of probate or letters of administration in respect of the estate of a deceased person;
“interest in expectancy” includes an estate in remainder or reversion and every other future interest whether vested or contingent, but does not include reversions expectant upon the determination of leases;
“notice of assessment” means a notice determined under section 37;
“property” includes movable and immovable property of any kind situate or being in Singapore and the proceeds of sale thereof respectively, and any money or investment for the time being representing the proceeds of sale; and, in the case of a deceased person who was at the time of his death domiciled in Singapore, includes movable property wherever it may be;
“property passing on the death” includes property passing either immediately on the death or after any interval, either certainly or contingently, and either originally or by way of substitutive limitation; and “on the death” includes “at a period ascertainable only by reference to the death”;
“settled”, when applied to property, means property comprised in a settlement;
“settlement” means any deed, will, agreement for a settlement, or other instrument or any number of instruments, under which any property or any interest therein stands for the time being limited to or in trust for any person or persons by way of succession, and includes any interest in remainder or reversion not disposed of by the settlement and reverting to the settlor;
“will” includes any testamentary instrument.
3.  For the purpose of this Act —
(a)a person shall be deemed competent to dispose of property if he has such an estate or interest therein or such general power as would, if he were sui juris, enable him to dispose of the property; and “general power” includes every power or authority enabling the donee or other holder thereof to appoint or dispose of property as he thinks fit, whether exercisable by instrument inter vivos or by will, or both, but exclusive of any power exercisable in a fiduciary capacity under a disposition not made by himself or as mortgagee;
(b)a disposition taking effect out of the interest of the deceased person shall be deemed to have been made by him, whether the concurrence of any other person was or was not required; and
(c)money which a person has a general power to charge on property shall be deemed to be property of which he has power to dispose.
[42/98; 30/2000]
Appointment of Commissioner, etc.
4.—(1)  The Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint an officer to carry out the provisions of this Act, to be called the Commissioner of Estate Duties and such number of Deputy Commissioners of Estate Duties as he thinks fit.
(2)  A Deputy Commissioner of Estate Duties shall have all the powers conferred by this Act on the Commissioner.
(3)  The Commissioner shall be responsible for the recovery of all estate duty, interest and penalties payable under the provisions of this Act and shall pay all amounts collected in respect thereof into the Consolidated Fund.
(4)  The Commissioner may, by notification in the Gazette or in writing, authorise any officer to perform or to assist in the performance of any duty imposed or to exercise any power conferred upon the Commissioner by this Act.