Understanding Malaysia’s Property Taxes and Regulations

Understanding Malaysia’s Property Taxes and Regulations

Before you own a property, it is important to understand property taxes and regulations of real estate transactions. It seeks to educate readers, particularly real estate professionals, about the significance of being knowledgeable about these aspects and how they can impact property investments and transactions.

For a variety of reasons, it is essential to comprehend property taxes and rules to own a property in Malaysia. First off, the total cost of property ownership is significantly influenced by property taxes. They are valued by local governments and can differ based on things like geography, property value, and particular restrictions in force. Real estate experts may effectively advise their customers on the potential financial repercussions and assist them in making decisions by having a thorough understanding of property taxes.

Furthermore, property ownership and transaction restrictions can have a substantial impact on the purchasing and selling process. Zoning laws, building rules, environmental regulations, and legal limits particular to certain types of properties are examples of these regulations. These standards must be followed in order to assure the legality and legitimacy requirements to buy a house in Malaysia. Real estate specialists who are knowledgeable about these regulations may help their clients navigate the process, ensuring that all necessary standards are satisfied and potential legal implications are avoided.

Understanding property taxes and laws enables real estate agents to present their clients with full and correct information. This information aids in determining the viability of possible investments, measuring a property’s profitability, and detecting any potential dangers or obstacles. Real estate professionals who are knowledgeable about property agency services can provide significant insights and recommendations to their customers, boosting their reputation and credibility in the market.

Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT)

The Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) rates vary based on the category of the disposer and the holding period of the chargeable asset. The disposer is divided into three categories: Part 1 includes individual Malaysian citizens and partners, Part II includes companies incorporated in Malaysia, trustees of trusts, or bodies of persons registered under Malaysian law, and Part III includes non-citizens, non-permanent residents, executors of estates of non-citizens/non-permanent residents, and companies not incorporated in Malaysia.

Between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2018, the RPGT rate for disposal in the sixth year after acquiring the chargeable asset is zero. From January 1, 2019, until December 31, 2021, the rate is 5% for the sixth year. Starting from January 1, 2022, the rate for the sixth year returns to zero, while the RPGT rates for other categories remain unchanged.

The RPGT rates for disposal of chargeable assets under Part I Schedule 5 RPGT Act are as follows: Within two years: 5%, In the third year: 5%, In the fourth year: 5%, In the fifth year: 5%, In the sixth year and thereafter: 0.

The RPGT rates for disposal of chargeable assets under Part II Schedule 5 RPGT Act are as follows: Within two years: 5%, In the third year: 5%, In the fourth year: 5%, In the fifth year: 5%, In the sixth year and thereafter: 5% until January 1, 2019, and 10% from that date onward.

The RPGT rates for disposal of chargeable assets under Part III Schedule 5 RPGT Act are as follows: Within two years: 5%, In the third year: 5%, In the fourth year: 5%, In the fifth year: 5%, In the sixth year and thereafter: 5% until January 1, 2019, and 10% from that date onward.

Real estate professionals and property owners must be aware of the reporting and compliance requirements associated with RPGT. When a property is sold, the seller must calculate the RPGT liability, file a tax report, and pay the tax within the deadline specified. Noncompliance with RPGT standards may result in penalties, fines, or legal ramifications.

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is a charge imposed in Malaysia on some legal documents or transactions, such as property transfers, lease agreements, loan agreements, and other instruments. It is imposed to secure the legality and enforceability of these papers, as well as to generate revenue for the government.

Stamp duty is significant because it protects the rights and interests of parties participating in various transactions. The government ensures that vital legal documents are correctly performed, registered, and enforceable in a court of law by mandating the payment of stamp duty. It aids in the prevention of fraud and offers a legal basis for property ownership and contractual duties.

First-time house buyers in Malaysia will continue to benefit from a 100% stamp duty exemption on purchases below RM500,000 through the Malaysian Home Ownership Initiative (i-Miliki) as outlined in Budget 2023. Additionally, a 75% stamp duty exemption will be provided for first-time homebuyers purchasing houses priced between RM500,000 and RM1 million under the i-Miliki initiative.

This exemption falls under the Home Ownership Programme (HOPE) and covers stamp duty on transfer documents and loan agreements. The objective of these measures is to encourage home ownership among the population. Furthermore, the MoF announced that the stamp duty for property transfers as a result of love and affection between parents and children, as well as between grandparents and grandchildren, is fully exempted up to the first RM1 million of the property’s value.

Calculating and executing stamp duty requirements necessitates careful study and respect to Malaysian government laws. Stamp duty is calculated by multiplying the appropriate rate by the property value or cash consideration in the transaction. Property owners or individuals entering into contracts must pay the stamp duty within a certain timeframe.

Assessment Tax

Assessment tax, commonly known as property tax or local tax, is a tax levied on property owners in Malaysia by local governments. It is collected twice a year in order to fund local government services and infrastructure development within a particular jurisdiction.

The assessment tax amount is calculated using either the rental or market value of the property. The rental value technique evaluates the potential income earned by renting out the property, whereas the market value method considers the property’s estimated worth in the present market. To compute the tax liability, the local authority assesses the property and imposes a tax rate.

Payment of assessment tax on time is critical to avoid penalties and legal implications. After receiving the assessment notice, property owners are normally given a certain amount of time, usually 30 days, to clear the tax obligation. Failure to pay the assessment tax within the deadline may result in penalties, interest charges, or legal action by the local government.

Noncompliance with assessment tax requirements can have severe consequences. To recover the outstanding tax amount, the local authorities may pursue legal action, which may include issuing an order of seizure and sale. This means that the local government can take and sell the property in order to recoup the overdue tax. Property owners must meet their assessment tax duties in order to keep their property ownership rights and avoid any financial and legal consequences.

Sales and Service Tax (SST)

The Sales and Service Tax (SST) is a consumption tax system in Malaysia that was reintroduced on September 1, 2018, replacing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that was implemented earlier. It is levied on consumers based on the cost of specific goods and services.

Depending on the kind of items, Malaysia’s sales tax rates can be as high as 10% or as low as 5%. If the entire sales value of your company’s taxable goods surpassed RM 500,000 in the previous year, you must pay SST.

The return of SST represented a departure from the 6% GST to a more targeted tax regime. The SST made certain components of property transfers liable to distinct taxes. Stamp Duty, for example, was levied on the sale and purchase agreement and the transfer of property, whereas Service Tax was levied on specific professional services such as legal costs and valuation fees.

Housing Regulations

Housing regulations in Malaysia encompass a set of laws and guidelines that govern various aspects of property ownership, development, and transactions. These regulations are designed to protect homeowners’ interests, ensure the quality of housing, and promote a fair and transparent housing market.

For a limited time, the HDA legislation protects the interests of buyers of primary market residential properties against developers. As long as you purchase a property from a licensed developer, you are protected by the HDA statute. Buyers of strata property would also be protected by the Strata Title Act of 1985 and the Strata Management Act of 2013.

The Ministry of Local Government Development has announced plans to review and amend the Strata Management Act 2013 (Act 757) in the near future and stated that this review aligns with the third Rolling Plan of the 12th Malaysia Plan. The ministry will also offer technical guidance to the commissioner of buildings and work towards resolving issues related to strata management at the local government level.

The National Housing Policy (NHP) is expected to address various issues in the housing sector, including construction quality, abandoned housing projects, and housing affordability for both buying and renting.

Key factors such as buyer affordability, development costs, and selling prices continue to impact the supply and demand in the housing market. Presently, housing development is mainly focused on urban and suburban areas with higher purchasing power and a larger buyer market. To meet the current housing needs, both the Government and the private sector must fulfil their social responsibilities, particularly towards low-income and middle-income groups.

Besides, building codes and regulations play an important part in Malaysian housing rules by establishing construction standards and assuring building safety. These laws include a wide range of topics, including structural soundness, fire safety, electrical and plumbing systems, and accessibility requirements. These laws must be followed in order to assure the safety and quality of housing buildings.

Plus, Malaysian housing regulations include tenancy and rental laws, which safeguard both landlords and tenants’ rights. These regulations specify each party’s rights and obligations in a lease agreement, control rent increases, and establish dispute resolution processes. These rules promote justice and stability in the rental market by establishing a legal framework for tenancy agreements, benefiting both landlords and tenants.

Lastly, Consumer protection laws, including the Consumer Protection Act, form an essential part of Malaysian housing regulations, safeguarding homeowners from deceptive practices by developers, contractors, or service providers. These laws ensure that homeowners receive the promised quality, specifications, and after-sales services, promoting fairness, transparency, and accountability in the housing industry.

Home Financing Regulations

In Malaysia, there are many regulatory authorities that regulate and implement norms to maintain a safe and fair lending environment. These policies aim to safeguard both borrowers and lenders, promote responsible lending practices, and keep the housing market stable.

Generally, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) serves as the central bank of Malaysia and holds the responsibility of regulating and overseeing financial institutions involved in home financing, such as banks and lenders. BNM establishes policies and guidelines aimed at maintaining the stability and integrity of the country’s financial system.

Furthermore, The Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) is actively involved in the regulation and supervision of the housing sector, encompassing housing financing. As stated in their general job scope, KPKT develops policies and guidelines to facilitate the promotion of affordable housing and also regulates housing developers to ensure compliance with relevant standards and regulations.


In conclusion, understanding property taxes and regulations, as well as utilising the services of a reputable real estate agency, is of utmost importance for homeowners. It empowers them to make informed decisions, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and avoiding potential pitfalls. By working with real estate agency services, homeowners can benefit from their expertise in navigating property tax obligations, effectively managing their finances, planning for expenses, and maximising their investment returns.

Furthermore, in an ever-changing legal context, maintaining up to date on evolving legislation is critical. Property tax laws and regulations are subject to modifications, amendments, and new additions. As a result, homeowners should be informed about any changes that may affect their obligations or privileges.

Homeowners may effectively navigate the real estate landscape, defend their interests, and optimise their financial outcomes by comprehending property taxes and laws. It is a continuous process that necessitates diligence and a dedication to remain updated. Finally, homeowners may maintain compliance, maximise benefits, and make the most of their property investments by remaining proactive and getting professional guidance when necessary.


  1. https://www.hasil.gov.my/en/rpgt/real-property-gains-tax-rpgt-rates/
  2. https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2023/06/09/first-time-house-buyers-to-continue-enjoying-stamp-duty-exemption—mof
  3. https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/property/2022/05/14/understanding-real-estate-taxes-in-malaysia/
  4. https://www.boardroomlimited.com/my/2022/12/22/what-is-sst/
  5. https://www.iproperty.com.my/guides/what-is-hda-housing-development-act-malaysia-53570
  6. https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2023/03/14/govt-to-review-amend-strata-management-act/
  7. https://www.iproperty.com.my/property-insights/is-malaysia-national-housing-policy-on-track-86967


  1. https://www.hasil.gov.my/en/rpgt/real-property-gains-tax-rpgt-rates/
  2. https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2023/06/09/first-time-house-buyers-to-continue-enjoying-stamp-duty-exemption—mof
  3. https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/property/
  4. https://www.boardroomlimited.com/my/2022/12/22/what-is-sst/
  5. https://www.iproperty.com.my/guides/what-is-hda-housing-development-act-malaysia-53570
  6. https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2023/03/14/
  7. https://www.iproperty.com.my/property-insights/is-malaysia-national-housing-policy-on-track-86967


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