Stamp Duties Act

(Original Enactment: Ordinance 16 of 1929)

(30th May 1997)
An Act relating to stamp duties.
[1st November 1929]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Stamp Duties Act.
2.  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“adhesive stamp” means any stamp authorised by the Commissioner for the purposes of this Act;1
1  Revenue stamps were so authorised by G.N. No. S 252/70.
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Stamp Duties appointed under this Act;
“continuation clause” in a policy of sea insurance made for time means an agreement to the following or the like effect, namely, that in the event of the ship being at sea or the voyage otherwise not completed on the expiration of the policy, the subject-matter of the insurance shall be held covered until the arrival of the ship, or for a reasonable time thereafter not exceeding 30 days;
“contract note” means the note sent by a broker or agent to his principal, or by any person who by way of business deals, or holds himself out as dealing, as a principal, in any stock or marketable securities, advising the principal, or the vendor or purchaser, as the case may be, of the sale or purchase of any stock or marketable security, but does not include a note sent by a broker or agent to his principal where the principal is himself acting as broker or agent for a principal and is himself a person who bona fide carries on the business of a stockbroker in Singapore;
“conveyance on sale” includes every instrument and every decree or order of any court, whereby any property, or any estate or interest in any property, upon the sale thereof is transferred to or vested in a purchaser or any other person on his behalf or by his direction;
“die” includes any plate, type, tool or implement whatever used under the direction of the Commissioner for expressing or denoting any duty, or rate of duty, or the fact that any duty or rate of duty or penalty has been paid, or that an instrument is duly stamped, or is not chargeable with any duty, or for denoting any fee, and also any part of any such plate, type, tool or implement;
“duly stamped”, as applied to an instrument, means that the instrument bears an adhesive or impressed stamp of not less than the proper amount and that such stamp has been affixed or used in accordance with the law for the time being in force in Singapore;
“duty” means any stamp duty for the time being chargeable under this Act or any other Act;
“equitable mortgage” means an agreement or memorandum under hand only, relating to the deposit of any title deeds or instruments constituting or being evidence of the title to any property whatever (other than stock or marketable securities), or creating a charge on such property;
“executed” and “execution”, used with reference to instruments not under seal, mean “signed” and “signature”;
“impressed stamp” means either an adhesive stamp affixed by the proper officer over which an impression denoting the date of such impression has been made by the proper officer by means of a die, or an impression made by the proper officer by any mechanical means indicating the payment of duty and the date of such impression;
“instrument” includes every written document;
“instrument of partition” means any instrument whereby co-owners of any property divide or agree to divide the property in severalty, and includes also a final order for effecting a partition passed by the High Court and an award by an arbitrator directing a partition;
“lease” means a lease of immovable property, and includes —
(a)any undertaking in writing to cultivate, occupy or pay or deliver rent for immovable property;
(b)any instrument by which tolls, rents or profits of any description are let to farm;
(c)any writing on an application for a lease intended to signify that the application is granted;
“marketable security” means a security of such a description as to be capable of being sold or negotiated in any stock market;
“Master Plan” has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Planning Act (Cap. 232);
“money” includes all sums whether expressed in the currency of Singapore or in any other currency;
“mortgage” means a security by way of mortgage for the payment of any definite and certain sum of money advanced or lent at the time, or previously due or forborne to be paid, being payable, or for the repayment of money to be thereafter lent, advanced or paid, or which may become due upon an account current, together with any sum already advanced or due, or without, as the case may be, and includes —
(a)any conveyance of any property in trust to be sold or otherwise converted into money intended only as a security, and redeemable before the sale or other disposal thereof, either by express stipulation or otherwise;
(b)any instrument in writing for defeating or making redeemable, or explaining or qualifying any conveyance of property, apparently absolute, but intended only as a security;
(c)any agreement for a mortgage or any agreement (other than an agreement chargeable with duty as an equitable mortgage), contract or bond accompanied with a deposit of title deeds or with other instruments evidencing a right to property, for making a mortgage or any other security or conveyance as aforesaid of any property comprised in the title deeds or other instruments or for pledging or charging the same as a security; and
(d)any deed operating as a mortgage of any stock or marketable security;
“paper” includes every material upon which words or figures can be expressed;
“policy of insurance” includes every writing whereby any contract of insurance is made or agreed to be made or is evidenced, and “insurance” includes assurance;
“policy of sea insurance”  —
(a)means any insurance, including reinsurance, made upon any ship or vessel, whether for marine or inland navigation, or upon the machinery, tackle or furniture of any ship or vessel or upon any goods, merchandise or property of any description whatever on board of any ship or vessel or upon the freight of or any other interest which may be lawfully insured in or relating to any ship or vessel; and
(b)includes any insurance of goods, merchandise or property for any transit which includes, not only a sea risk under paragraph (a ), but also any other risk incidental to the transit insured from the commencement of the transit to the ultimate destination covered by the insurance;
“proper officer” means the Commissioner of Stamp Duties and such other officer as may be authorised by him to impress stamps ;
“residential property” means —
(a)any house, building or other premises or any part thereof which is permitted to be used pursuant to the Planning Act (Cap. 232) or any other written law as a dwelling-house or which is lawfully so used; or
(b)any land zoned in the Master Plan for solely residential purposes or for mixed purposes, one of which shall be residential,
and shall include any estate or interest therein;
“settlement” means any non-testamentary disposition in writing whether made voluntarily or upon a good or valuable consideration other than a bona fide pecuniary consideration whereby any definite and certain property is settled or agreed to be settled in any manner for any purpose whatsoever;
“stock” includes any share in the capital stock or funded debt of a company, corporation or society in Singapore or elsewhere and stocks or funds of the Government or of any other government or country.
[38/75; 14/83; 26/96]
Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners of Stamp Duties
3.—(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 Stamp Duties, and such number of Deputy Commissioners of Stamp Duties as he thinks fit.
(2)  The Commissioner may, subject to such conditions or restrictions as he thinks fit, delegate to any person having official duty or employed in the administration of this Act, all or any of the powers, functions and duties by this Act vested in him.