Many of you know that Singapore has done well in luring and retaining global investments by reducing corporate tax rates and initiating numerous tax incentives.
Unlike many countries that implement double-taxation, Singapore has been following a one-tier corporate income tax system since the introduction of Budget 2002. The one-tier corporate income tax system implies that tax imposed on a firm’s chargeable income is final, and dividends are tax-exempt.
Whether a company is a Singapore company or a foreign company, with effect from Year of Assessment (YA) 2010, tax on corporate income is a flat rate of 17%. Income for the YA is calculated based on the income derived in the preceding year. If 2021 is the YA, the basis period will be the 12 months preceding the 12 months 2021 fiscal year.
Tax schemes to lighten tax payable
There is, however, a tax exemption scheme for new start-up companies. If a new start-up company meets the preconditions to be eligible for the plan, it will benefit from tax exemptions for the first three consecutive YAs.
If the YA starts from YA 2020, new start-up companies will enjoy a 75% exemption on the primary $100,000 of normal chargeable income and an additional 50% exemption on subsequent $100,000 of normal chargeable income.
Suppose the YA falls between YA 2010 and YA 2019. In that case, new start-up companies will enjoy total exemption on the primary $100,000 of normal chargeable income and an extra 50% exemption on subsequent $200,000 of normal chargeable income.
Another tax exemption scheme that applies to all companies, including companies limited by guarantee, is the Partial Tax Exemption scheme.
Starting from YA 2020 under this scheme, companies will enjoy a 75% exemption on the primary $10,000 of normal chargeable income and an additional 50% exemption on subsequent $190,000 of normal chargeable income.
For YA 2010 to 2019, companies will enjoy a 75% tax exemption on the first $10,000 of normal chargeable income and an additional 50% exemption on subsequent $290,000 of normal chargeable income.
The third scheme that also applies to all companies is the Corporate Income Tax Rebate. This scheme helps to lighten business spending and applies for YA 2013 to YA 2020. Businesses will obtain a corporate income tax rebate of between 25% – 50%, capped between $10,000 – $30,000, depending on the YA. You can calculate the rebate by taking the tax payable left after deducting tax set-offs.
Companies must submit the Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) form per annum to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). Submission must be within 3 months from the company’s financial year-end note that this does not apply to companies that fulfil the requirements under the Administrative Concession and corporations that are not required to file ECI.
Companies must also submit the Corporate Income Tax Returns form annually by 30 November. Submission of the Corporate Income Tax Returns form does not apply to dormant companies that IRAS has issued a waiver to waive the filing requirement.
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