IRAS Annual Report FY2019/20

16 Oct 2020

- Tax Revenue Collection Up 2.1% to $53.5 billion
- Redefining Taxpayers’ Experience through Digital Services

In Financial Year (FY) 2019/20, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) collected a total of $53.5 billion in tax revenue, an increase of 2.1% from the previous FY. Tax revenue is used to fund various social, economic and security programmes for Singapore.

The cost of tax collection was kept low under one cent, at 0.78 cents for every dollar collected. Tax arrears rate remained low at 0.79%. Current year arrears for Income Tax, GST and Property Tax fell to $357 million, from $373 million in FY2018/19.

Tax Revenue – Facts and Figures

IRAS’ collection of $53.5 billion in FY2019/20 represents 72.0% of the Government Operating Revenue and 10.5% of Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product.

Total Income Taxes (Corporate Income Tax, Individual Income Tax and Withholding Tax) made up 57% of IRAS’ collection in FY2019/20. Income Taxes collected in FY2019/20 were $30.8 billion, 4.8% higher than the $29.4 billion collected in FY2018/19. The increase is mainly contributed by higher corporate profits and individual earnings. Corporate Income Tax collection was $16.7 billion, up 4.3% from $16.1 billion collected in FY2018/19. Individual Income Tax collection increased by 5.7% to $12.4 billion.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection for FY2019/20 increased marginally by 0.2% to $11.2 billion.

Property Tax collection was $4.8 billion, 2.4% higher than FY2018/19. Stamp Duty collection fell by 8.9% from $4.6 billion to $4.2 billion due to a decrease in the number of property transactions.

Betting Taxes – comprising Betting Duty, Casino Tax and Private Lotteries Duty – totalled $2.6 billion, 1.6% lower than FY2018/19.

AR Media Release Pie Chart

Redefining Taxpayers’ Experience through Digital Services

IRAS leverages innovative technology to enhance taxpayers’ experience, collaborating and co-creating services with taxpayers in the process. IRAS has rolled out several digital initiatives in FY2019/20 to make taxpaying more seamless and hassle-free. This includes chat filing for taxi and private hire car (PHC) drivers, an Interactive Property Tax Bill, and enabling small companies to file taxes directly from their accounting software.

Chat Filing for Taxi and PHC Drivers

In the Year of Assessment (YA) 2019, over 600 taxi and PHC drivers benefited from the pilot launch of the chat filing initiative. It used a simple Q&A form with conversational language, instead of a standard form with legal and accounting terms. Following the successful pilot, IRAS partnered GovTech to further enhance the concept by developing an interactive chatbot. This has benefited about 1000 taxi and PHC drivers in their income tax filing for YA 2020. The conversational approach of chat filing helps to simplify e-Filing process for the less digitally-inclined taxpayers. It makes the tax form more understandable, and mimics the experience of having an officer guide them through their filing. 70% of the sample users surveyed found tax filing with the chatbot more intuitive, and reported that they spent 60% less time filing their returns.

Interactive Property Tax Bill

In end-2019, more than 700,000 residential property owners received the Interactive Property Tax Bill (i-Bill) for their 2020 property tax bill. An upgrade from the e-Bill, the i-Bill offers greater convenience to property owners. They can view their tax balance in real-time and pay their property tax on-the-go via their mobile phones. To further improve transparency in property tax assessment, the i-Bill also provides property owners with information on how their specific annual values and property tax amounts are derived. The i-Bill will subsequently be extended to other groups of non-residential property owners.

Seamless Filing for Businesses

To simplify tax filing for companies, IRAS has collaborated with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and five accounting software providers to develop a seamless filing solution. It uses Application Programming Interface (API) technology. Small companies will be able to file their tax and financial returns to IRAS and ACRA directly using the enhanced accounting software, without the need for manual computation. Some 200,000 companies are expected to benefit from this initiative.

Looking Ahead

From May 2021, IRAS will be digitising most paper notices and letters by default.  Taxpayers may update their preferences on myTax Portal to receive email and/or SMS notifications when their notices are ready for online viewing. They can do so via a new e-Service under ‘Update Notice Preferences’. They will also be able to view up to three back years’ notices on myTax Portal. Through these digital initiatives, taxpayers will get to enjoy greater convenience, security, and timeliness in receiving communications from IRAS.

“IRAS is pursuing digital transformation with vigour, driven by our goals to provide taxpayers with excellent service and to improve tax compliance. We will continue to partner various stakeholders to innovate and implement new digital solutions, so that taxpaying can be even more convenient.” said Mr Ng Wai Choong, Commissioner of Inland Revenue/Chief Executive Officer. 

Supporting Businesses and Individuals During COVID-19

IRAS continues to support the Government in the administration of assistance schemes – the Wage Credit Scheme, Jobs Support Scheme, Government Cash Grant and Jobs Growth Incentive – to help businesses and Singaporeans tide through this period of economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19. We have disbursed about $18 billion in grants so far this year.

IRAS has also implemented tax measures such as rebates for Corporate Tax and Property Tax, as well as automatic deferment of Income Tax payments for companies and self-employed persons. The tax filing deadlines have been automatically extended as well to help taxpayers manage the COVID-19 situation.

First IRAS Annual Report on Instagram

For the first time ever, IRAS is hosting its FY2019/20 annual report live on an Instagram account (@irasannualreport_2019) which offers platform features that enhances interactivity such as Instagram Stories and Instagram TV.

For the PDF copy and more information, please refer to the IRAS Annual Report FY2019/20 and tax statistics.

Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore