19 Apr 2011
More than 870,000 taxpayers e-Filed their tax returns by the due date of 18 Apr this year, setting a new high of 96% e-Filing rate. This is an increase of 2% from last year’s 94%.
Including 38,000 taxpayers who filed paper returns, the filing rate this year is 88%, about the same as last year.
Tax filing a breeze for 660,000 taxpayers
Some 660,000 of the 790,000 taxpayers under the No-Filing Service (NFS) this year would have found the tax filing season a non-event. Only one in six had to log into myTax Portal because they had other income or changes to make to their relief claims. This year, e-Filing has been enhanced with a tax calculator feature. As soon as taxpayers have e-Filed, an estimate of the tax payable would be shown on their screens; helping them budget their tax payments.
Currently employers with 30 or more employees are required to transmit the salary information of their employees to IRAS electronically. IRAS intends to extend this requirement to employers with 20 or more employees from 2012. This means another 100,000 taxpayers will join the existing 1.1 million taxpayers who are already on the scheme, and enjoy the ease of not having to provide their employment information when they file their returns next year. We can also expect more taxpayers to be included in the NFS going forward.
More taxpayers go for self-help options
Over the years, IRAS has introduced various self-help services such as Interactive e-Filing Guide and Tax calculators to facilitate tax filing. This year saw more taxpayers using the self-help services to check on their tax matters. For example, the “Filetax” SMS Mobile Service which allows a taxpayer to check if he is required to file or whether IRAS has received his tax return, was popular with taxpayers. Compared to last year, there was a 39% increase in the usage of this self-help service. In contrast, we saw a sharp drop of 35% in the number of calls to the e-Filing helpline this year, down from about 25,000 last year to about 17,000 this year.
Relax to the max, GIRO your tax
The Notices of Assessment will be issued to taxpayers from May onwards and by September this year, most will receive their Notices of Assessment.
Taxpayers are encouraged to join GIRO to enjoy up to 12 interest-free monthly instalments. Instead of paying one lump sum within 30 days from the Notice of Assessment, one can spread out the payment over 12 months to ease cash flow. There will be no need to wait in queues to pay and be concerned about late payment penalties. When a taxpayer signs up for GIRO, he maintains full control over his money at all times because he can simply make a telephone call to IRAS to adjust or cancel his GIRO arrangement. He can also access the e-Services at myTax Portal at https://mytax.iras.gov.sg to check his instalment plan and tax balance.
Taxpayers now have one more reason to pay by GIRO – they stand to win cash prizes totaling $65,000 in the “GIRO Your Tax” annual Lucky Draw on 17 May 2011. Two more annual lucky draws will be conducted in 2012 and 2013 to encourage taxpayers to pay tax by GIRO. The longer one stays on GIRO, the higher the chances of winning.
For those who have not signed up for GIRO, they should do so before 30 Apr 2011 immediately to qualify for the May lucky draw.
Taxpayers may sign up for GIRO through the following modes:
1. Apply online via Internet banking (for DBS/POSB and OCBC customers);
2. Apply online at any AXS station (for DBS/POSB customers);
3. Download a GIRO application from www.iras.gov.sg (Forms).
Penalties can be avoided if you act now
IRAS would like to remind taxpayers who have not filed their tax returns to do so immediately. A late filing penalty of $1,000 will be imposed for late filing unless taxpayers have been granted an extension to do so. Taxpayers who need assistance may contact our officers on 1800-356 8300 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore