Who qualifies for WCS
All employers paying wage increases in 2013 - 2017 to Singaporean Singapore Citizen employees who:
- Are earning a gross monthly wage of $4,000 and below;
- Received CPF contributions from a single employer for at least 3 calendar months* in the preceding year1;
- Have been on the employer's payroll for at least 3 calendar months* in the qualifying year2 (i.e. employer must have paid employee CPF contributions for at least three calendar months* in qualifying year); and
- Have at least $50 gross monthly wage increase.
- Must not also be the business owner of the same entity (i.e. sole proprietor of the sole proprietorship, or a partner of the partnership, or both a shareholder and director of a company)
*The three months minimum employment duration need not be continuous.
1Preceding year refers to the year before the Qualifying Year (i.e. 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016)
2Qualifying year refers to the year for which Wage Credit is computed, based on the wage increases given in that year. There are 5 qualifying years, i.e. 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Local government agencies, international organizations and businesses that are not registered in Singapore do not qualify for WCS.
See the full employer exclusion list.
Additional Eligibility Conditions
- An employer is not eligible for a payout under any of the circumstances below:
o The employer is an entity that has no substantial trade or business;
o The employer had given, in IRAS' opinion, false or misleading information to IRAS in order to obtain a payout or a higher amount of payout;
o The employer (either singly or with another person) had used, in IRAS' opinion, one or more artificial, contrived or fraudulent steps in order to obtain a payout or a higher amount of payout;
o The employer was convicted in the qualifying or preceding year for making CPF contributions to Singaporeans who were not actively employed by the firm
- An employer is not eligible for a payout for a wage increase for a particular employee who:
o Did not carry out any substantive work for the employer;
o Effectively controls the employer (i.e. controls decision making power and management of the business or company)
- If the total wages paid by an employer for a period is not commensurate with the volume or nature of activity carried out by the employer in that period, then the employer is only eligible for an amount of payout that, in IRAS' opinion, corresponds to the increase in the total wages paid for that period that commensurate with such volume or nature of activity.
- If the total wages paid by an employer to a particular employee for a period is not commensurate with the volume or nature of work carried out by the employee in that period for the employer, then the employer is only eligible, in respect of that employee, for an amount of payout that, in IRAS' opinion, corresponds to the increase in the total wages paid to that employee for that period that is commensurate with such volume or nature of work.
- If an employer fails to give to IRAS, by the time specified by the IRAS, any information requested by IRAS for the purpose of determining the employer's eligibility for a payout or the amount of payout the employer is eligible for, with respect to one or more employees, then the employer will not be given the payout for these employees.
How much of wage increases qualify for co-funding
Over the period of 2013-2015, the Government will co-fund 40% of qualifying wage increases up to a gross monthly wage level of $4,000.
In addition, gross monthly wage increases of at least $50 - given in 2013 that is sustained in 2014/2015 by the same employer, and given in 2014 that is sustained in 2015 by the same employer; will continue to be co-funded at 40%.
Under the extended Scheme, i.e. 2016-2017, the Government will co-fund 20% (instead of 40%) of qualifying wage increases up to a gross monthly wage level of $4,000.
In addition, gross monthly wage increases of at least $50 - given in 2015 that is sustained in 2016 /2017 by the same employer, and given in 2016 that is sustained in 2017 by the same employer; will continue to be co-funded at 20%.
Also, gross monthly wage increases must be at least $50 to qualify.
Computation of Wage Credit
Wage Credits on each qualifying employee can be computed as follows:
A sample illustration can be found below.
Assume a new employee was hired since 2012 until Sep 2017; and was given gross monthly wage increases of $200 in 2013, $300 in 2014, $100 in 2015, $200 in 2016 and $500 in 2017.
See more Worked Illustrations (PDF) on how Wage Credit is computed and Examples of How to Qualify for Wage Credit on Sustained Wage Increases.
Gross Monthly Wage = Total wages (basic salary and additional wages such as overtime pay and bonuses) paid by the employer to the employee in a calendar year / Number of months in which CPF contributions were made.
To learn more about how the Wage Credit Scheme works, you can attend IRAS' Corporate Tax seminars conducted twice monthly from Jul to Nov.
Receiving Wage Credit
Application is not required. IRAS will notify eligible employers by post of the Wage Credit payable to them by 31 March 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
When is the payout
Payouts will be given to employers by 31 March 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
How do employers receive the payout
Payouts will automatically be credited to employers' GIRO bank account for Income Tax/GST, or by cheque.
Is the Wage Credit payout taxable?
The Wage Credit payout is a government grant that co-funds wage increases and hence it is a revenue that is taxable in the hands of the employers. The payouts will be taxed in the relevant Year of Assessment corresponding to the year you received the payouts. Payouts may be used to offset any of your outstanding tax.
Individuals (including sole-proprietors) and partnerships are not required to declare the Wage Credit Scheme payout received in their income tax returns (Form B/B1 or Form P) as this will be automatically included by IRAS in their tax assessment for the relevant YA.
Companies are however, still required to declare the Wage Credit Scheme payout received in their income tax return (Form C/Form C-S) for the relevant YA.
Submitting a Request for Wage Credit Breakdown
Employers may request for a breakdown of the total Wage Credit by employee in the year of payout.
How to submit a request
Employers may submit an online request via myTax Portal.
When to submit
Employers have from the last week of March till 31 October of the year of payout (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018) to submit their request.
Processing fees apply for qualifying employee records exceeding 100.
- $100 for records more than 100 but not exceeding 200
- $150 for records exceeding 200
How to pay
Payment is via cheque only, made payable to "Commissioner of Inland Revenue" and paid upon collection of the CD at IRAS.
How will employers receive the records
Employee records not exceeding 100 will be mailed to the business's registered address by ordinary mail within 7 working days.
Employee records exceeding 100 will be provided in a CD. IRAS will contact the employer for payment and collection of CD at IRAS within 10 working days.
What do the records contain?
The records will provide you with the breakdown of Wage Credit for existing employees. If you have new hires who qualify, only their names will be provided as disclosure of the new employees' individual Wage Credits may enable the wages from their previous employment to be derived.
For IRAS to provide you with their individual Wage Credits, each new employee is required to sign a Consent Form. To declare that consent had been obtained, please complete and submit a Declaration Form to firstname.lastname@example.org
Appealing for Wage Credit Adjustment
In any payout year, employers can only appeal on Wage Credit payout for that year.
Appeals under the following situations may be considered based on the merits of the case:
- Merger of companies;
- Conversion of business entity, or change in UEN;
- Overseas Singaporean employees for whom CPF contributions were not made but whose salaries were nonetheless paid.
How to submit an appeal
Employers who decide that they have eligible ground for appeal should complete the Appeal Form (PDF) and submit it to IRAS with supporting documents.
When to submit
Employers have until 30 June of the year of payout (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018) to submit their appeal.
Background and Contact Information
Background of the Scheme
The Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) is part of the 3-Year Transition Support Package introduced in Budget 2013.
As announced in Budget 2015, the Government will extend the WCS for two more years, i.e. 2016 and 2017, to give firms more time to adjust to rising wages in the tight labour market.
Through WCS, businesses affected by economic restructuring will receive Government support to manage rising labour costs. The payouts will allow businesses to free up resources to make investments in productivity and to share the productivity gains with their employees.
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