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Singapore: Need for Tax on Wealth, Inheritance, Estate & Property

26th July 2021 | Singapore

Singapore Central Bank Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Managing Director Ravi Menon, has discussed the need for tax on wealth, inheritance, estate and property in Singapore to address growing wealth in equality in Singapore, worsened by increasing private property prices.  Singapore, a leading financial centre in Asia alongside Hong Kong, currently imposed tax only on earned personal income (0% to 22%) and no tax on property gains or inheritance / estate tax.  A wealth tax, if implemented will likely be from property gains tax or inheritance / estate tax.  (Ravi Menon comments in a lecture at the the Institute of Policy Studies at National University of Singapore on the 22nd July 2021)

” Need for Tax on Wealth, Inheritance, Estate & Property in Singapore “

 



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Estate Tax in Singapore, Before 2008 at 5% to 10%

Singapore | Leading financial centre in Asia

In 2008, Singapore had removed estate tax.  Between 1996 to 2008 in Singapore, estate tax is 5% for the first $12 million and 10% every dollar above $12 million.  In 2006, Hong Kong had also removed estate tax.  Read More: KPMG Report: Global Family Business Tax Monitor 2020

Estate Tax Around the World
  • United States have one of the highest gift or inheritance tax, before exemptions ($10 million inflation-adjusted tax exemption scheduled to sunset after 2025)
  • France, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Spain and Ireland have one of the highest tax rates in Europe (transfer at death), before tax exemptions.
  • In Asia-Pacific, China have no gift or inheritance tax while South Korea have one of the highest tax in the world.
  • In Australia, there is no wealth or gift tax.

More:

 

Tax Planning is Getting More Difficult

Tax planning or tax structuring had been a key consideration for wealthy clients and large corporations – and if possible, few would want to pay more or higher tax.  Wealthy clients have and large corporations have been finding ways to minimise or optimise tax, including investing in tax-deductible investment programs, structuring assets or offshore assets, buying insurance policies for wealth & asset transfer or to offset tax payments.

In recent years, governments around had been tightening the use of tax and tax loopholes to increase collection of tax.

Related:

 

Samsung Heirs Pay $10.7 billion in Inheritance Tax

Jay Y. Lee, Vice Chairman at Samsung Electronics | 2nd from left

The heirs and family of Samsung including current Vice-Chairman of Samsung Electronics Lee Jae-Yong, will be paying inheritance tax of around $10.7 billion (12 trillion won) for inheriting around $22 billion estate from the late Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-Hee who died in October 2020.  South Korea has one of the world’s highest inheritance tax rates with tax rate at 50%, and more if the estate has a controlling interest in a company.  Read More: Samsung Heirs Lee Jae-Yong and Family to Pay $10.7 Billion in Inheritance Tax from $22 Billion Estate

 

United States Billionaires Tax Leak, Top 25 Pays 3.4% in Tax Rate from $401 Billion Fortune

United States

The richest United States billionaires personal tax filings had been leaked, including billionaires Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Michael Bloomberg, Carl Icahn and George Soros, with the top 25 richest billionaires paying an average tax rate of 3.34%. From 2014 to 2018, the top 25 richest billionaires in United States grew their wealth by $401 billion, but paid only $13.6 billion in federal taxes, an average tax rate of 3.34% compared to 14% for the median income tax rate.  (The tax leak did not disclose details on donations, that may have qualify for tax deductions).  Read More: United States Billionaires Tax Leak, Top 25 Pays 3.4% in Tax Rate from $401 Billion Fortune

 

OECD: 130 Countries Representing 90% of Global GDP Agree to 15% Corporate Tax Rate

130 countries and jurisdictions representing 90% of global GDP have agreed to both 15% minimum corporate tax rate and large multi-national enterprises to pay tax where they operate and earn profits.  The new 2-pillar plan will reform international taxation rules and ensure that multinational enterprises pay a fair share of tax wherever they operate, will be finalised in October 2021 and be implemented in 2023.  A small group of 139 members including Ireland and Hungary have not joined the framework.  Read More: OECD: 130 Countries Representing 90% of Global GDP Agree to 15% Corporate Tax Rate

Selected Global Tax Rates (Low to High):

  • Cayman Islands – 0%
  • British Virgin Islands – 0%
  • Bermuda – 0%
  • Ireland – 12.5%
  • Hong Kong – 16.5%
  • Singapore – 17%
  • Thailand – 20%
  • Vietnam – 20%
  • Taiwan – 20%
  • Switzerland – 21.1%
  • Indonesia – 22%
  • India – 22% 
  • China – 25%
  • Korea – 25%
  • Malaysia – 25%
  • Philippines – 25%
  • Australia – 25%
  • United States – 25.8%
  • Canada – 26.5%
  • New Zealand – 28%
  • Japan – 29.7%
  • Germany – 29.9%
  • France – 32%

 

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