Articles: Special Stamp Duty

Hong Kong's not-so-free economy
The US-based Heritage Foundation has, as always, ranked HK as the freest economy in the World. For once, the Government doesn't accuse foreign forces of interfering in HK's internal affairs. But this rosy view is not held by those who take the time to study the domestic economy. Here are a few things that Heritage may have overlooked. (4-Feb-2018)
Skyway (1141) sells 2 Lincoln Road to CSPT (0139)CSPT announcement
Company announcement, 28-Nov-2016
CSPT owns 15.48% of Skyway and is paying with bonds convertible into 11.11% of CSPT, while Skyway owns 13.56% of CSPT, so this potentially increases the cross-holding. The sale values the property at HK$406m. They are selling the BVI company that indirectly owns the property, thereby avoiding all stamp duties. Skyway only acquired this company on 4-Mar-2016, so if it had bought and sold the property, the sale would have attracted 15% Special Stamp Duty, 15% Stamp Duty and 15% Buyer's Stamp Duty, a total of 45%, if anyone was mad enough to transact on those terms.
Centaline Property Agency Ltd v Irene Fung Wai Yee
HK District Court, 30-Jun-2014
SSD tragedy: a husband passed half a flat to his wife on 23-Aug-2011, shortly before he died, making them joint owners. She became sole owner on his death, and agreed to sell on 9-Apr-2012 but was subsequently faced with 10% Special Stamp Duty on her half because she had acquired it within 1 year of the sale. So she agreed to cancel the sale, paid the buyer $180k and now has to pay the agent $105.6k in commission. And all because the Government thinks SSD is a good idea, and that she must be a "speculator".
Webb on 'Backchat" re the proposed stamp duties
RTHK, 29-Nov-2013
The proposed laws on Buyer's Stamp Duty, higher rate and longer period of Seller's Stamp Duty, and Double Stamp Duty are still in LegCo Bills Committees. The show discusses whether they should be withdrawn.
K C Chan is satisfied - are you?
The Minister says they have achieved their goal, whatever that is. Apparently freezing up the market is a Good Thing. 15% Buyer's Stamp Duty and 8.5% Double Stamp Duty are still not law and will not be payable if the law is not passed. We urge readers to write to the LegCo bills committees to demand that they veto the proposals. (28-Jun-2013)
Double Stamp Duty: Webb to speak at CanCham, Wednesday 3-Jul
Company media release, 26-Jun-2013
Seats are still available for a breakfast organised by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce next Wednesday, at which a panel of legislators, property experts and free-market advocates will lead a discussion of the Government's proposed doubling of stamp duty, which, like the 15% "Buyer's Stamp Duty" and the higher rate and duration of "Special Stamp Duty" has not yet become law. Hit the link to sign up.
BSD and SSD 2.0 - submission to LegCo Bills Committee on Stamp Duty (Amendment) Bill 2012
We dissect the proposed Buyer's Stamp Duty and increase and expansion of Special Stamp Duty on residential properties in HK. Government replies to Webb-site reveal that they don't actually have data to support the discrimination between Permanent Residents and Non-PRs, even if the duty were constitutional, which it is not. (5-Feb-2013)
Joseph Lau buys 3 Deep Water Bay Road from Chinese Estates (0127), avoids 19.25% stamp duty
Company announcement, 7-Nov-2011
He is actually buying a BVI subsidiary which owns the property. That company bought the property for HK$888.8m on 17-Aug-2011. If it had sold him the property, the transaction would have cost a punitive 15% Special Stamp Duty (for resale within 6 months) and 4.25% regular stamp duty, a total duty of 19.25% or HK$171m. By buying the BVI company, there is no duty payable.
David Webb's 4th submission to LegCo on proposed Special Stamp Duty
 (13-Mar-2011)
Now withdraw the SSD proposal
Latest disclosures show that the increase in short-term resales from 2009 to 2010 was only 1.9% of transactions, and fewer than 1 in 5 are in that category. Having abandoned one unpopular budget measure this week already, the Government should now do the right thing and abandon the Special Stamp Duty proposal. It is illegitimate, unconstitutional, creates too many unintended victims and runs the risk of chaos upon a successful judicial review. (2-Mar-2011)
SSD, the Basic Law, and a lesson from Singapore
The Government has responded to LegCo on our concerns that the proposed Special Stamp Duty is unconstitutional. We go further in this article, explaining why SSD would not be a legitimate tax protected by Basic Law Article 108. We'll also look at the lesson in political reality from Singapore's 1996-97 experiment, and we propose a fairer, focused alternative, in the form of a withholding system for profits tax. (30-Jan-2011)
Webb on "Backchat" re special stamp duty & other property issues
RTHK, 18-Jan-2011
Prepared remarks of David Webb appearing in LegCo on Special Stamp Duty
 (4-Jan-2011)
Hong Kong should halt new property stamp duty, let bubble burst, Webb says
Bloomberg, 4-Jan-2011
LegCo invites submissions on Special Stamp Duty
HK Legislative Council, 21-Dec-2010
Submit your views to LegCo! David Webb will attend the meeting on 4-Jan at 4.30pm.
Webb-site submission to LegCo on Special Stamp Duty
HK Legislative Council, 14-Dec-2010
Webb on "Backchat" debating Special Stamp Duty with Government
RTHK, 6-Dec-2010
Stamp Duty (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2010
HK Gazette, 3-Dec-2010
Stamp Duty (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2010 to be gazetted this Friday
HK Government, 1-Dec-2010
Government criticises Stamp Duty proposal
In a case of policy schizophrenia, the Government said a special stamp duty would be unfair, cause additional hardship to those in financial difficulties, and amount to double taxation. Then they proposed it anyway, based on a bunch of selective, deceptive and alarmist statistics, which we dissect. Legislators should kill this proposal or at least insert a sunset clause so that it expires with Donald Tsang's office. Exceptional times do not call for irrational measures. (26-Nov-2010)
Webb on "Bachckat" re special stamp duty and mortgage limits
RTHK, 23-Nov-2010

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