Voluntary Compliance Initiatives

IRAS has two main initiatives to help GST-registered businesses voluntarily comply - Assisted Compliance Assurance Programme (ACAP) and Assisted Self-Help Kit (ASK).

Assisted Compliance Assurance Programme (ACAP)

Businesses that have obtained ACAP status enjoy benefits such as three to five years of exemption from GST audits, faster GST refunds, speedier resolution of GST issues and automatic renewal of GST schemes.

Background

Assisted Compliance Assurance Programme (ACAP) , launched on 5 Apr 2011, provides a holistic framework for businesses to proactively self-manage their GST risks and treat tax risk management as part of their corporate governance framework.

Assisted Self-help Kit (ASK)

Assisted Self-help Kit (ASK) is a comprehensive self-assessment compliance package to help businesses review correctness of GST submission and discover past GST errors early to qualify for IRAS' Voluntary Disclosure Programme

ASK is available to all GST-registered businesses.

ASK vs. ACAP

Both are designed to encourage GST compliance, but each has its own target businesses and focus. Their key differences are:

ASKACAP

All GST-registered businesses, regardless of turnover , may adopt ASK on a voluntary basis.

IRAS may also require businesses to adopt ASK for specified purposes e.g. in applying for GST schemes as specified.

For GST-registered businesses that:

  1. Place importance on tax risk management as part of their corporate governance ; and
  2. Establish robust GST controls at three levels: Entity, Transaction and GST Reporting.

Participation in ACAP is entirely voluntary, depending on your readiness and needs.

ASKACAP

ASK focuses on 3 key aspects of ensuring GST compliance:

  1. Internal processes to properly handle GST reporting of transactions;
  2. Accurate filing of GST returns by conducting pre-filing check; and
  3. Annual review of past returns filed in each financial year (ASK Annual Review).

ACAP focuses on conducting a holistic review of the effectiveness of the GST Control Framework to manage GST risks and secure on-going GST compliance. The review approach differs from ASK Annual Review.

ASKACAP
  1. Cultivates discipline to adopt at least the essential requirements in getting ready to be GST compliant.
  2. Provides assurance on the correctness of the current and past GST submissions.

Provides assurance of GST compliance to the stakeholders of the businesses on a sustainable long term basis by incorporating the following elements in its tax risk framework:

  1. Risk Identification;
  2. Corrective Measures;
  3. Preventive Measures; and
  4. Monitoring Mechanism.

ASK Annual Review vs. ACAP

    1. Aim
  1. ASK Annual ReviewACAP

    Detects errors early for GST returns filed in the past financial year.

    Ensures effectiveness of GST controls and accuracy of GST reporting for a 12-month period.

  2. 2. Review Approach
  3. ASK Annual ReviewACAP
    1. Step-by-step process based on GST ASK Annual Review Guide (1081KB).
    2. Focuses on verifying transactions reported in the GST returns regardless of the internal controls.
    1. Risk-based review of GST controls based on GST ACAP Review Guidance (1.03MB).
    2. Wider scope than ASK Annual Review as it focuses on:
      1. extensive reviews on internal controls that impact GST compliance; and
      2. verifying transactions to ensure accuracy of GST reporting.
  4. 3. Personnel Involved in Review
  5. ASK Annual Review

    ACAP

    Either:

    1. In-house GST personnel or accounting staff;
    2. External tax advisory firms; or
    3. An individual accredited with the Singapore Institute of Accredited Tax Professionals (SIATP) as an Accredited Tax Advisor (GST) [ ATA (GST) ] or Accredited Tax Practitioner (GST) [ ATP (GST) ].^

    For the purpose of applying for or renewing GST schemes where ASK is specified as a pre-requisite, the 'ASK' Annual Review must either be performed by:

    1. an individual accredited with SIATP as ATA (GST) or ATP(GST); or
    2. the GST-registered business and certified by an individual accredited with SIATP as ATA (GST) or ATP (GST), and in adherence to the certification procedures set out in the GST ASK Annual Review Guide (1081KB).

    ^ The ATA (GST) or ATP (GST) may either be an in-house staff or external party. For more information on accreditation, please visit www.siatp.org.sg

    Either:

    1. Public Accounting Entity (PAE) or its tax affiliate where the team lead is an Accredited Tax Advisor (GST) of SIATP;
    2. Internal audit team where the team member is an Accredited Tax Practitioner (GST) or Accredited Tax Advisor (GST) of SIATP; or
    3. A joint team comprising both (1) and (2).

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