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REITM Focus: Automating diligence checks and new stamp duty payment options

The Digitalised Property Transactions Workgroup has been rolling out more initiatives as part of its effort to enable the real estate industry to move towards offering seamless, efficient, and secure transactions from end-to-end.

Chaired by the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA), the workgroup comprises representatives from government agencies and industry associations that are involved in or support property transactions.

Stamp duty calculator API adopted by real estate agency industry players

The Workgroup has been working with government agencies to progressively make available Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to access property-related government data. This will enable the automation of time-consuming administrative tasks such as due diligence checks, freeing up time for property agents to focus on providing value-added services to consumers.

Government agencies have already made data related to rental transactions available. For example, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), which is a member of the Workgroup, has released APIs for stamp duty-related activities.

These include APIs for calculating the amount of stamp duty payable for the different document types (e.g. property transfer, lease, mortgage) and for checking the authenticity of a stamp certificate.

Companies who are keen to digitalise the property rental transaction process can tap on these APIs to automate due diligence checks against government data.

One of the adopters of the stamp duty calculator API is the Institute of Estate Agents (IEA).

Ms Tracey Wong, the Institute’s CEO, said that IEA took the initiative to work with IRAS to provide the API for its members and help them in their work on the go, and response has been positive thus far.

“From the various feedback through our networking sessions and dialogues with our members and agents, they are very appreciative that IEA understands their needs, to enhance productivity and provide value-added services for their clients," said Ms Wong.

Another adopter of IRAS’ stamp duty calculator is Ohmyhome, an online property portal and licensed property agency.

Explaining why the company adopted the API, its co-founder and CEO, Ms Rhonda Wong, said, “Ohmyhome wants to provide accurate calculations to our users and hence having an API directly from IRAS for stamp duties provides a reliable source of information. That way, our platform can quickly reflect any changes in the stamp duty regulations as and when it happens, while our team can focus our attention on our core business of building a seamless end-to-end transaction platform for consumers to buy, sell, and rent.”

Commenting on the benefits of the API, Ms Wong explained that Ohmyhome’s clients can refer to their calculated stamp duty information on Ohmyhome’s platform at any point in time as the agency stores it for them. Agents can use the calculators to update clients about the stamp duty calculations without clicking through multiple sites, providing a more efficient and enhanced experience when serving clients.

Besides APIs, the Workgroup has also recently rolled out standard Option To Purchase and Sale & Purchase Agreement templates. Find out more about these templates in our other story in this issue.

New payment modes for stamp duty

In line with the Workgroup’s aim to further digitalise processes in property transactions, IRAS has launched new payment modes for stamp duty. Individuals will be able to obtain their stamp certificate immediately upon successful payment if they use these electronic payment options.

Do share with your clients that these new stamp duty payment options are now available to them for a more convenient and secure experience.

New payment mode Type of stamp duty document Payment limit Stamp certificate

FAST via a DBS/POSB account through the IRAS e-Stamping Portal

(For users with a DBS/POSB personal bank account i.e. non-corporate account)

For conveyancing stamp duty documents i.e.

  • Buyer’s Stamp Duty
  • Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty
  • Seller’s Stamp Duty

$200,000

Download stamp certificate immediately from the IRAS e-Stamping Portal after making successful payment

AXS Kiosks

(For users with NETS and debit cards from DBS/POSB, Citibank, OCBC, UOB, Maybank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered)

For all stamp duty documents (e.g. lease/tenancy agreements, share transfers, mortgages)

$3,000 or daily payment limit on payee’s debit card, whichever is lower

Retrieve stamp certificate immediately from the IRAS e-Stamping Portal after making successful payment

Visit IRAS’ website for FAQs and a step-by-step guide on how to use these new payment options.