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Singapore Reports On Tax, Compliance Work

Thursday, September 5, 2019

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has reported that revenues increased by 4.4 percent in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, in its annual report for the year.

At SGD29.4bn, income taxes - corporate income tax, individual income tax, and withholding tax - accounted for 56 percent of the total tax take. This was 7.9 percent higher than collected in the previous year.

IRAS said that corporate tax revenue rose due to better corporate earnings. It attributed the higher personal income tax collections to the introduction of an overall relief cap of SGD80,000 in the 2018 year of assessment (YA) and to the repeal of the one-off personal tax rebate given in YA2017.

Goods and services tax (GST) collection rose by 1.6 percent in 2018-19, to SGD11.1bn. Property tax collection rose 4.7 percent year-on-year, but stamp duty collections fell by 6.1 percent, due to a lower number of property transactions.

IRAS said that it has over the past year attempted to make interactions with taxpayers more convenient and personalized through new digital communication platforms. Following a pilot scheme, IRAS began offering targeted guidance to newly established businesses on their tax and accounting obligations, starting from October 2018.

To simplify and digitize the tax filing process for businesses, in July 2018, IRAS enabled the submission of GST returns and notifications relating to transactions directly from taxpayers' accounting software on a pilot basis. It has also embedded analytics into its GST refund process since August 2018, to detect and better manage compliance risks.