Hong Kong Special Stamp Duty Issues and Alternatives
On 20 November 2010, the Hong Kong SAR Government introduced the Special Stamp Duty (“SSD”) to residential property acquired and resold within 24 months. The relevant amendment to the Stamp Duty Ordinance was passed by the Legislative Council in June 2011. This article will first examine the reasons and the mechanism of the SSD. It will then look at a number of issues, namely constitutional challenge, determination of holding periods, certainty & proportionality, use of shell company and transfer of payment arising from the introduction of SSD. Finally, it is proposed that in addition to SSD, the Government could make use of the existing anti-avoidance measures to combat the ever rising property prices.