A Much-Needed Introduction to Tax Services in Singapore
There are many good reasons why businesses and investors establish their operations in Singapore. For instance, Singapore provides an investor-friendly environment for setting up and operating different types of businesses.
Secondly, Singapore’s tax regime is a major motivator for investors. The country is known for attractive personal and corporate tax rates, a one-tier tax system, tax relief measures, no capital tax gains, and double tax treaties.
In this post, we look at some of the key tax obligations for companies that operate in Singapore and the benefits provided by Chartsworth’s tax services to persons and corporations running a business.
Types of Tax Obligations for Businesses in Singapore
First and foremost, it is important to understand that any individual, company, or trustee operating a business or profession in Singapore is normally charged tax on all profits, with the exception of profits from the sale of capital assets.
A company is either a tax resident or a non-resident of Singapore, determined by where the business is controlled and managed. If Board of Directors meetings and key management personnel are located overseas, a company will be deemed as a non-resident – even with company incorporation in Singapore. A company qualifies as Singapore tax resident if the control and management of its business is exercised within the country. With Singapore tax residency, your company can be eligible for benefits such as tax exemptions for start-up businesses.
There are essentially two types of tax obligations that a company is obligated to file and pay with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). This includes the Corporate Income Tax and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Note that while the current corporate tax rate is 17%, it can be lower with the help of incentive programs offered by the government. The current GST rate is 7% and it applies on all sales of goods and services in Singapore for GST-registered business, unless the same can be zero-rated (for example, exporting of goods etc) or exempted (for example provision of financial services, sale and lease of residential properties etc) under the GST law.
For many small and mid-sized businesses in Singapore, the tax preparations and filing can be accomplished by their in-house accountants or outsourced to professional tax services.
However, due to the complexities involved and key tax changes every year in both Corporate Income Tax and GST filing in Singapore, many also prefer the option of engaging tax services that have the necessary accounting expertise and experience in tax matters.
What Do Tax Services Entail?
i) Tax Compliance Services
For tax compliance services, a standard plan will cover the mandatory tax filing to IRAS which include tax computation, filing of Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) and filing of Form C-S / Form C-S (Lite) / Form C. On top of the typical filing requirements, you can also opt for more comprehensive packages that include a wider range of tax solutions. After all, we know it is important for business owners like yourself to stay ahead of your tax liabilities, which could otherwise result in hefty penalties and that’s not what you want on your plate.
ii) Tax Advisory Services
Additionally, do you know it is possible to minimise the taxes relevant to your company? This is if you’re well-informed on how you can strategically reduce your tax obligations. Especially for small and medium-sized companies, you can maximise your tax reduction opportunities enabled by proper tax planning. It should be noted that this is not about avoiding paying taxes, but rather it entails complying with all applicable laws to reduce your taxable income and any associated taxes. With the help of tax advisory services, thorough tax planning can ensure savings on taxes before you unknowingly pay more than needed.
Beyond tax planning, tax advisory services can also cover advice on any complex tax issues involving your business. Depending on the unique conditions and needs of your business, a knowledgeable tax advisor can help you manage your tax more efficiently for you to achieve your business goals.
Plan Ahead for Your Business Today
Every year, businesses need to make decisions on how they will be handling their taxes in Singapore. It is essential to consult with a tax professional before your financial year end so that you have a plan in place for the coming filing season. Ultimately, our one-stop accounting services can help you save money and carry out your tax filing on your behalf so you can confidently focus on other important activities to grow your business. Get in touch with us today for more information.