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What to Do If I Do Not Have Cash Upfront for Stamp Duty?

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What to Do If I Do Not Have Cash Upfront for Stamp Duty property science

When purchasing a resale private property, some buyers are caught unawares of the cash that needs to be prepared.

Here is the list of items that require cash payment:

The Option Fee is usually 1% of the property price. This is a fee to be paid to the seller for receiving the Option to Purchase in respect of the property. The amount varies, especially if the option period is longer than the usual 2 weeks.

This deposit is usually 4% of the property price. This is a fee paid when exercising the Option to Purchase. It will be made out to either

(a) The seller’s lawyer’s Conveyancing Account (“-CVY”); or
(b) Singapore Academy of Law

Even if you intend to pay this amount with your CPF monies, you have to pay up in CASH within 2 weeks of exercising your option.

What to do if you do not have enough? Read on.

The rest of the purchase price can be paid via the bank loan up to the amount approved. Any top up has to be made in cash.

Having Trouble Paying Your Stamp Duties in CASH?

One of the pitfalls that resale sellers (HDB and private) face when transitioning to their next property is coughing up Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) or even Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) in cash. Some buyers are caught unawares that while these taxes can be paid via CPF, they have to fork out upfront cash due to the timeline involved.

Even after the completion of the property, the return of CPF funds may take a few weeks more. Besides begging, stealing or borrowing, how can one mitigate this temporary cashflow crunch?

Many buyers are unaware that while late payments are not encouraged, IRAS allows buyers to delay the payment while paying a late penalty.

What to do if you do not have enough cash for stamp duty payments?

We only recommend this as a last resort, but one way is to write in to IRAS through your lawyer and pay the late stamp duty interest.

A good conveyancing lawyer will be able to help you minimize the late penalty fee for not paying the stamp duty in time. He may advise you to extend the option period and exercise the OTP later to shorten the time between payment due date and completion date.

Here is a guide to the late stamp duty interest.

Disclaimer: These figures are obtained from the IRAS website. Please calculate actual figures with your legal representative.


If you are experiencing difficulty managing your timeline for your sale and purchase, and wish to minimize your risk of miscalculations, do contact our experienced real estate consultants at Property Science.

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