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SG Malaysia, Taiwan may tighten tax rules

Property Here - Tuesday, July 30, 2013

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Malaysia may increase its real property gains tax (RPGT) and tighten financing, after speculation in the property market caused prices to soar beyond the reach of the middle class, hinted Housing Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

This comes amid ongoing media reports about the country's urban housing woes. Local news indicated that around 60 percent of Malaysians, especially those living in Penang, the Klang Valley and Johor, can no longer afford to buy a home.

In an interview, Abdul Rahman acknowledged that “multiple problems”, including speculation, have made affordability more of an issue now than 10 years ago.

Meanwhile, Taiwan is also planning changes to its luxury tax rules to minimise the gap between property prices and incomes. 

“Current rules have flaws, for example, we are unable to tax those deep-pocket investors, who can wait for more than two years to sell properties,” said Taiwan's Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford, adding that changes could include a levy on property buyers given that a tax is already imposed on sellers.

The changes come amid a widening gap between housing prices and incomes as well as rising property prices in Taipei City.

Mr Chang noted that Taiwan could extend its luxury tax, which was imposed from June 2011, on investment properties sold within two years from acquisition.

Commercial and residential investment properties sold within one year of purchase are levied a 15 percent tax, while those sold within two years are levied 10 percent. 

Nikki De Guzman, Junior Journalist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories email