Ensuring Tax Compliance when Doing Business or Working in Singapore
When it comes to tax compliance and obligations in Singapore, all entrepreneurs, both foreign and locals, as well as employees are required to fulfill their tax obligations. The corporate tax rate has been fixed to 17% in Singapore since 2010 and personal tax structure is one of the friendliest and most competitive in the world with Top marginal resident tax rate of 22%.
Tax Obligations in Singapore
The territorial tax system of Singapore (with certain exemptions) along with low personal taxation rates are two of the important things that allure entrepreneurs to invest and incorporate companies in the country. The most common tax obligations include the following:
Singapore Corporate Tax Filing
Every company that is registered in Singapore is required to submit their corporate tax returns to IRAS no later than 30 November for paper filing and 15th Dec for e-Filing of each year. Singapore new startup are eligible for startup tax exemption scheme. Unlike many other countries across the globe, taxation in Singapore is based on the preceding year. As such, the profits generated in the preceding year will be the reference for tax returns filing in the current year.
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Singapore Personal Income Tax Filing
Progressive tax rates apply to personal income in Singapore. With that being said, all employees must pay their taxes based on their amount of income. Tax rates for Singapore tax residents vary from 0 to 22%. Personal annual tax returns are to be submitted to IRAS no later than 15 April for paper filing and 18th April for e-filing of each year.
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Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Singapore GST is a tax charged on the supply of goods and services made in Singapore and on the importation of goods into Singapore.
The current rate for GST is 7%.
Withholding tax is obligatory when a payment of a specified nature is made to non-resident companies in Singapore. Depending on the nature of the payment, tax rates may vary between 10% to 17%. Nature of payment also varies, and the common ones include royalty payment, management fees payment and loan interest, commission or fee payment.
Estimated Chargeable Income Submission
Also known as ECI, Estimated Chargeable Income is the estimate of companies’ chargeable income that is the gross amount of income earned before deductions or exemptions. The estimate is calculated for a Year of Assessment within 3 months from the financial year-end. ECI filing is one of the most important corporate compliance requirements that has to be carried out on an annual basis. Just like other taxes, ECI is to be submitted to IRAS within 3 months following the end of the financial year.
Another Popular Taxation-Related Matter in Singapore
Inter-company transactions that know no borders have increased rapidly in recent years and tax authorities from around the world are working to ensure that all transactions have implemented the arm’s length principle and are documented in accordance with domestic tax rules.
Transfer pricing documentation in Singapore must be prepared according to the mandatory Section 34F Transfer Pricing Documentation and OECD guidelines. Moreover, it is compulsory for transfer pricing reporting to be in the prescribed form.
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