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Hong Kong Enacts 2018 Stamp Duty Amendment Ordinance to Restrict Exemption when Multiple Properties Acquired under a Single Instrument

The Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department announced on 20 April 2018 that the Stamp Duty (Amendment) (No. 2) Ordinance 2018 has been published in the Official Gazette. The Ordinance provides for a restriction to the exemption from the new 15% stamp duty for buyers that do not own any other residential property in order to prevent investors from inappropriately obtaining the exemption by acquiring multiple properties under a single instrument.

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The Stamp Duty (Amendment) (No. 2) Ordinance 2018 has been gazetted

By virtue of the Amendment Ordinance, unless specifically exempted or otherwise provided in the law, acquisition of more than 1 residential property under a single instrument executed on or after 12 April 2017 will be subject to ad valorem stamp duty (“AVD”) at the rate under Part 1 of Scale 1 – a flat rate of 15%, even if the purchaser/transferee is a Hong Kong permanent resident who is acting on his/her own behalf and does not own any other residential property in Hong Kong at the time of acquisition. Please refer to Stamping Circulars Nos. 04/2018 and 05/2018 for the new stamping arrangements. The FAQs and the illustrative examples for AVD - Scale 1 and Scale 2 have also been updated.

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