REITs - rates, eligibility, availability of relief etc. - Singapore

03.02.2017

Withholding Tax

Standard rate of withholding tax:17%Holding requirements / restrictions:Yes

For income tax purposes, a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) refers to a trust that is constituted as a collective investment scheme authorised under section 286 of the Securities and Futures Act (Cap. 289) and listed on the Singapore Exchange, and that invests or proposes to invest in immovable property and immovable property-related assets.

  • For foreign non-individual beneficial owners of REITs units, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) had granted a concessionary withholding tax rate of 10% for the period between 18 February 2005 and 17 February 2010 inclusive.
    On 13 February 2010, the Minister of Finance announced that the 10% concessionary withholding tax rate would be extended until 31 March 2015.
    And, as noted in the Budget 2015, Singapore REITs tax concession was renewed for another five years to the end of March 2020.
  • For foreign individual beneficial owners of REITs units, the applicable rate is 0%.

Relief at source

Relief at source on dividends from Singapore REITs is not available through Clearstream Banking.

Tax reclaim service

Tax reclaim service on dividends from Singapore REITs is available through Clearstream Banking for eligible beneficial owners as follows:

  • Foreign non-individuals;
  • Foreign individuals.

Important note:
The term “tax reclaim service” reflects the process to recover the tax amounts withheld in excess at source from the respective issuer's local tax authorities. As part of Clearstream Banking’s continuous efforts to improve its services, Clearstream Banking has arranged, together with its agent DBS, for customers to be able to send their tax reclaims directly to Clearstream Banking, provided that the depository offers this service, as the availability of the tax reclaim service may vary depending on the issuer and even for the same issuer, on a per payment basis.

Customers wishing to start the tax reclaim process via Clearstream Banking should send an original version of the “Letter of request to Clearstream Banking for reclaim of withholding tax on Singaporean Securities” (available on our Tax Forms to use - Singapore page) duly completed and signed to Clearstream Banking.

Upon receipt of the request, Clearstream Banking will investigate the following details with its depository:

  • Availability of a tax reclaim service for the particular event;
  • Certification requirements for the particular beneficial owner; and
  • Statutory deadline and Clearstream Banking deadline to receive the original documentation.

Upon receipt of the above information from its depository, Clearstream Banking will relay these details to its customers via SWIFT notification.

Deadline for receipt of documents

Clearstream Banking’s deadline to receive the original documents for a tax reclaim application is, at the latest, four months before the applicable market statutory deadline. Any reclaim received after this deadline will be rejected by Clearstream Banking.

Important note:

Customers are reminded that each tax reclaim request will be treated on a case by case basis. Although Clearstream Banking will help its customers to mitigate rejections of the documents, neither Clearstream Banking nor the agent accepts responsibility for the acceptance or non-acceptance of the reclaim by the tax authorities of the respective country. It remains the customer’s responsibility to determine any entitlement to a refund of tax withheld, to complete the required forms correctly and to calculate the amount due.