Stamp duty blues: Hong Kong buyer slapped with USD12 million tax bill


Our eyes are watering


A home buyer is due to fork out millions in stamp duty for a recent purchase, the South China Morning Post reported.

The Inland Revenue Department is set to charge 30 percent in stamp duties or HKD90.54 million (USD11.7 million) on the Nov. 15 sale of a HKD301.8-million (USD39 million) semi-detached house in Happy Valley. The transaction was made via tender to a corporate buyer.

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Spanning 4,571 square feet and rising three storeys high, the house is part of a development by Hang Lung Properties along Blue Pool Road in Wong Nai Chung. It has five en-suite bedrooms, plus a 546-square-foot courtyard and 1,344 sq ft terrace.

While the property is far less expensive than the apartments sold in the city last week, the buyer qualifies as a non-permanent resident, a target of the stamp duty that has been increased to 15 percent earlier this month. The new rate applies to all residential purchases, except for first-time home buyers who are permanent residents.

The buyer of the Blue Pool Road unit could also face “buyer’s levy,” a tax often slapped on purchasers from mainland China, the Post pointed out. Introduced in 2012, the levy currently stands at 15 percent.

Our eyes are watering. You?

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