March 31, 2007

Iras explains basis of property tax

I REFER to Ms Meenakshi Narayanan's letter, 'Why isn't hike in property tax islandwide?' (ST, March 27).

As property tax is payable in advance, property owners will receive their property-tax bills for the year by the end of January. The property tax assessed is based on annual values as at Jan 1.

However, during the year, annual values may be revised up or down, taking into account market rents in the locality, and notices are subsequently issued to inform owners of such adjustments to their properties' annual value.

Some years back, when market rents were on the decline, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) had decreased the annual values on several occasions.

As Ms Narayanan has rightly pointed out, the rentals of most properties have been rising in recent months. Hence the annual values of these properties, including hers, have to be raised.

Iras constantly monitors the market trend and will revise the annual values as necessary.

Ms Narayanan has suggested that the notice of increase be given in advance. As Iras does not forecast market rents, we cannot propose annual values ahead of the market changes. Hence, the effective rate change is close to the date when we issue the notices.

We have contacted Ms Narayanan to explain the annual-value assessment of her property.

Any owner who does not agree with the proposed annual value can object to both the annual value and the effective date. The owner can download a copy of the objection form from the Iras website ( or call 1800-356 8600.

Lee Leng Kiong (Mrs)
Corporate Communications
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore