Your Feedback - Our Response

We thank taxpayers for giving us your suggestions and feedback through our various feedback channels. Here are some highlights of your suggestions and feedback, as well as IRAS' follow-up actions.

You can also read highlights of past feedback here

Clear Guidelines

No.
Suggestions and Feedback IRAS' Response 

Application of Certificate of Residency for companies

In order to apply for a Certificate of Residency from IRAS, companies need to meet the residency test requirement of having their management and control exercised in Singapore during the particular Year of Assessment. Companies would like to know if the Year of Assessment is on financial year or calendar year basis.


We have updated our website to state that tax residency for a particular Year of Assessment is based on whether the control and management of the business was exercised in Singapore in the preceding calendar year. An example has also been added to illustrate this.

Determining quantum of loss items to be transferred

To provide examples to illustrate how to determine the quantum of loss items to be transferred under the group relief system when the shareholding falls below 75% during the basis period.

We have provided a hyperlink on the webpage to an existing FAQ with an illustration on how to determine the quantum of loss items to be transferred if the shareholding falls below 75% during the basis period.


Nature of gain from sale of virtual currencies

Given the increased interest in virtual currencies, companies would like to know how to determine whether a gain made from the sale of virtual currencies is revenue in nature or capital in nature.


The determination of the nature of gains made from the sale of virtual currencies is similar to the gain made from sale of investments, i.e. based on the Badges of Trade test.

 

We have included a new paragraph on the webpage to clarify this and provided a hyperlink to the Badges of Trade webpage.


4

Document Identification Number

A company was unable to obtain its Document Identification Number (DIN) via the e-Service and suggested IRAS provide reasons why some taxpayers are unable to extract the DIN.
We have updated our website with situations where a company may not be able to obtain its DIN from the e-Service.
5

Qualifying conditions for filing Form C-S

To provide clarity on whether companies with income exempted under Section 13(8) of the Income Tax Act can use Form C-S for their tax return submission.
We have updated our website to clarify our position on the qualifying conditions for filing Form C-S, in response to common enquiries and clarifications from companies.
6

Notification of business cessation

To provide clarity on the timeframe for Singapore branches of foreign companies to notify IRAS that their business has ceased and to submit any outstanding returns, following the amendment to Section S377 of the Companies Act.
We have updated our website and FAQs on when and how companies should notify IRAS should they cease business.
 7

Computation of deductible medical expenses

To provide guidance on the computation of the cap on deductible medical expenses when ad-hoc contributions to employees' Medisave accounts were made.


We have updated our website with an example to illustrate the computation of deductible medical expenses in such a scenario.
 8

Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) waiver eligibility criteria

It was announced that the annual revenue threshold (one of the criteria for determining the eligibility for ECI waiver) would be increased from $1 million to $5 million in 2017. Companies were unsure of the effective date when the new revenue threshold would take effect.


We have updated our website with two examples to illustrate which set of criteria the company would need to apply to determine if they met the ECI waiver criteria, based on their financial year end.
 9

Instructions to complete Form C

To provide more information and help to companies completing Form C

We have updated our website and FAQs in response to common enquiries and clarifications received on Form C filing matters.


 10

Enhancing brochure content

Make the current brochure easier for newly registered partnerships or sole proprietorship businesses to understand their tax obligations and filing compliance.
We have revised the content to be clearer and more concise so that newly registered partnerships and sole-proprietorship businesses will find it easier to understand their tax obligations.
 11

Clearance Directives

Make it easier for employers to understand what they need to do after receiving Clearance Directive.

We have updated the content of the Clearance Directives to be clearer and more concise so that employers understand what they need to do after receiving the directive more easily.

 

A summary section that highlights the key actions required was also added to the directive. This serves as a quick reference for employers on “what they need to do” and “easy ways to pay”. 


 12

Claiming of input tax on insurance expenses

More examples should be provided on the type of insurance expenses which businesses can claim GST input tax on. The website previously only cited public liability insurance as an example.


We have included more examples of the type of insurance expenses that would be claimable on our website such as fire, burglary, machinery and trade cargo insurance.
 13

Claiming of input tax by businesses which no longer make taxable supplies

To provide more clarity on whether a business can still claim GST input tax on overhead expenses if it has stopped making taxable supplies and is in the process of winding down.

One of the conditions for claiming input tax is for the expenses incurred to be directly attributable to the making of taxable supplies.

 

We have included a new FAQ in our website to highlight that businesses which have stopped making taxable supplies cannot claim input tax on overhead expenses such as rental and utilities, since the condition is not met. 


 14Apportionment of mobile phone expenses

Businesses can claim GST input tax on mobile phone expenses incurred by employees if they are regarded as businesses expenses and reimbursed. For mobile phones used for both business and private purposes, businesses were previously required to determine the amount used for business calls in order to claim the input tax.

We have introduced a new proxy in the e-Tax Guide “GST: Fringe Benefits” to help businesses compute the amount of mobile phone expenses claimable and to address businesses’ difficulties in determining the business and private portions of the mobile phone expenses.

 

Simple way to comply 

 

No. Suggestions and Feedback IRAS' Response 

Enhancing stamp duty refund process

To simplify the stamp duty refund application and shorten the turnaround time for the refund process

We have enhanced the online refund application* since Mar 2017 to populate key information and allow system processing based on taxpayers’ declaration. Supporting documents are not required for the online refund application but should be retained and submitted to IRAS upon request. Majority of taxpayers can now obtain a refund within 30 days instead of the previous 60 days from the date of application.

  *For common scenarios including aborted sale and purchase agreements, terminated leases, double stamping, ABSD spouses remission and where no stamping is required.

 2

Stamp Duty Remission forms

To extend more remission forms to law firms who can e-Stamp for their clients

We have made more remission forms (i.e. Spouses/ Free Trade Agreement/ Housing Developers remissions) available to law firms since Mar 2017. Law firms can e-Stamp their clients’ documents and apply for remission at the same time. Manual remission application is no longer required and law firms can download the Stamp Certificate immediately after successful payment.
 3

Additional Stamp Duty transactions

To allow taxpayers to pay additional Stamp Duty online and obtain the revised Stamp Certificate instantly

We have made it possible for taxpayers to up-stamp, pay the additional Stamp Duty online and download the revised Stamp Certificate immediately after successful payment since Mar 2017. Taxpayers no longer need to submit an application to IRAS to pay additional Stamp Duty.
 4

Electronic Property Tax notices

To go green by serving property tax notices electronically.

We are piloting the digitalisation of property tax bill for residential properties owned by individuals, before extending to other property owners and notice types.

However, we recognise that not all owners are ready for such digital services, and they have the option to receive hardcopy notices.

 5Property Tax bill alerts
To provide alerts to property owners when property tax bill is issued or deposited in myTax Portal, as well as, the taxable amount.
We have introduced electronic property tax bill for residential properties since Nov 2017. Owners will receive an SMS notification when their bills are ready for viewing on myTax Portal. The SMS also includes the property tax payable and the due date, to facilitate payment.
 6

Utilisation of Property Tax

To share how property tax collected is being utilised.   
We have enhanced the electronic property tax bill since Nov 2017 to provide information on how property tax and other taxes collected are used to fund the development of Singapore.
 7

Number of attachments for myTax Mail

myTax Mail allows taxpayers to upload only one attachment per email message at a time. If taxpayers want to upload a few documents, they have to send more than one email. Taxpayers have requested that the number of attachments be increased for myTax Mail.

We have enhanced myTax Mail since Sep 2017 to allow taxpayers to upload 5 attachments per email message at a time. This enhances the taxpayers’ experience when using our e-Service.

 8

myTax Portal font size

A taxpayer filing withholding tax suggested that reduce the font size on myTax Portal so that printouts of the acknowledgment page/ consolidated statement would not run into several pages.


We have reduced the font size used in myTax Portal from 18 to 14 points since Jan 2018.
9Notification of successful GST registration

Businesses would like to be informed on the outcome of their application for GST registration through faster modes, in addition to the notification letter sent to their registered address. 

We have begun sending SMS or email notifications since Apr 2017 to the directors or business owners once their GST registration is approved.

 10Pre-registration GST claims

Businesses found it difficult to apply the different rules for claiming GST on expenses incurred prior to GST registration.  

We have included a calculator feature in the “Pre-registration GST: Checklist for Self-Review of Eligibility of Claim” since Jul 2017 to help businesses determine the amount of pre-registration GST claimable.