Common Errors Made by S45 WHT Payers

Guide on how to avoid common errors made by S45 Withholding Tax (WHT) payers
Common ErrorsWhat You Need to Know/Do
Common Errors When e-Filing S45 Withholding Tax
Wrongly declared the date of payment for nature of payment, except Director’s Fees.

The date of payment is defined as the earliest of the following dates:

1. When the payment is due and payable based on the agreement or contract, or the date of the invoice in the absence of any agreement or contract (credit terms should not be taken into consideration); 

2. When payment is credited to the account of the Non-Resident or any other account(s) designated by the Non-Resident, not necessary a bank account; 

3. The date of actual payment. 

 

You are required to take into consideration all the above-mentioned dates and declare the earliest date as the date of payment in the S45 Form.

Wrongly declared the date of payment for Director’s Fees.

The date of payment is defined as the earliest of the following dates:

1. When payment is credited to the account of the Non-Resident or any other account(s) designated by the Non-Resident, which need not necessarily be a bank account;

2. The date of actual payment;

3a. Director 's Fees Approved in Arrears
For director's fees approved in arrears, the director has already rendered the requisite services for the accounting year concerned. However, the director's fees must be disclosed to and approved by members of the company before they can be paid to him. Hence, the earliest date on which the director is entitled to the director's fees, is the date the fees are voted and approved at the company's AGM.

3b. Director 's Fees Approved in Advance
For director's fees approved in advance, the director may not have rendered the requisite services for the accounting year concerned when the fees are approved at the company's AGM. Hence, the earliest date on which the director can be entitled to the director's fees, is as and when he renders his services.

 

You are required to take into consideration all the above-mentioned dates and declare the earliest date as the date of payment in the S45 Form.

Wrongly reported 'Tax Borne by Payer' when you had actually withheld the tax from the amounts payable to the non-resident.

You should only select 'Tax Borne by Payer' in the S45 Form when you are contractually liable to bear the withholding tax on the payment to a non-resident. 

 

Paying the tax withheld from payment to a non-resident, on behalf of the non-resident, to IRAS, is not considered tax borne by payer. 

Error during e-Filing when submitting multiple withholding tax forms under one submission.

To submit multiple forms under one submission, please follow these steps: 

1. Select 'File more form'/'Approve more form' after preparing or approving the last form instead of clicking 'Submit'.  

2. Under the S45 tab, click on 'Submit S45 Forms' and perform a wild search without keying in any search criteria. The search results will show all the forms you have filed/approved. 

3. Check all the forms that you wish to submit to IRAS. 

4. Complete the Declaration and proceed to submit. 

Wrongly declared the name of non-resident based on its trading name/ inter-company abbreviation.

You should declare the name of the non-resident in the S45 Form based on the legal name/ registered name of the non-resident. The non-resident’s name should be stated in full without abbreviations (i.e. short form), prefix or suffix unless it is part of the legal/ registered name and avoid adding spacing or punctuation marks such as full stop, comma. 

 

If you are claiming Double Taxation Relief, then you must make sure that the name of the non-resident stated in the Certificate of Residence is the same as the name declared in your withholding tax submission.

Unable to upload the ODE file into myTax Portal and prompted with the message:

'A previous version of the Offline Data Entry Application has been detected. Please update your application by re-launching it'.

Please delete the ODE application, and then re-install the latest version of the ODE application from the IRAS website.

 

To delete the existing ODE application, please follow the steps below:  

1. Launch 'Configure Java' in your computer's Start Menu 

2. In 'Java Control Panel', under the tab 'General', click on 'View…' button 

3. 'Java Cache Viewer' will be launched:
     i.   Choose 'Show: Applications'
     ii.  Select 'S45 Offline Data Entry Application'
     iii. Click S45 ODE App_Delete(1) to delete the ODE application 

4. After deleting, click 'Close' in the 'Java Cache Viewer' 

5. Click 'OK' in 'Java Control Panel'

Common ErrorsWhat You Need to Know/Do
Common Errors Made When Claiming Double Taxation Relief/Exemption
Mistakenly thought that filing of withholding tax is not required if claiming for full tax exemption under Double Taxation Relief.

You are required to file withholding tax even if you are claiming for full tax exemption (i.e. 0% tax rate) under the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) or Approved Royalties Incentive (ARI).


To claim for tax relief or exemption under the DTA, please select the 'Double Taxation Relief' option under the 'Relief/ Incentive' section in the S45 Form and ensure that the Certificate of Residence (COR) is submitted by the due date. 

Mistakenly thought that the Certificate of Residence (COR) should be submitted together with withholding tax filing, or that withholding filing and payment could only be made upon receiving the COR.Due date to file and pay withholding tax

As a payer, you are required to e-File and pay the withholding tax to IRAS by the 15th of the second month from the date of payment to the non-resident.
 
Due date to submit COR, which is

1. 31 Mar of the following year if the claim is for the current year. 

2. Within three months from the date of submission of Form IR37 if the claim is for periods relating to preceding calendar years.

 

Therefore, you may file and pay withholding tax based on the reduced rate available in the relevant Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) and submit the relevant COR subsequently.

If you are unsure whether the non-resident will provide you with the COR or whether the non-resident is a tax resident of the DTA treaty country, please withhold and pay withholding tax at the prevailing domestic rate. After you have obtained the COR from the non-resident, you may submit an online filing amendment request form with the COR uploaded to request a refund.

Common ErrorsWhat You Need to Know/Do  
Common Errors Made When Submitting Non-Resident's Certificate of Residence (COR)
Incorrectly submitted the Certificate of Residence (COR) of the non-resident based on the period that filing was made.

The Certificate of Residence should cover the period of payment declared in the S45 Form. Examples are provided in the table below. 

 Period of PaymentYear of COR to be Submitted
 12 Aug 2018 to 14 Aug 2018 2018
 12 Dec 2019 to 31 Dec 2019 2019
01 Jan 2020 to 31 Mar 20202020
Incorrectly submitted another document (i.e. Certificate of Incorporation, Certificate of Business Registration, Trade License, Letter from non-resident) as a substitute for the Certificate of Residence (COR).No other documents will be accepted as a substitute for the COR. Only a COR which meets the following requirements will be accepted:

1. Certified by the foreign tax authority of the non-resident; and

2. In English; and

3. Clearly state 

  • the non-resident company is a resident of the foreign country for Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement signed with Singapore and
  • the period(s) in which the COR is applicable. One COR may be accepted for multiple periods, if the periods are clearly stated in the COR.

The COR will not be accepted if the name of the non-resident stated in the COR is different from the name declared in the withholding tax submission.

 Common Errors What You Need to Know/Do
Common Errors Made When Making Payment for S45 Withholding Tax
Erroneously remitting withheld amount to IRAS without/before filing the S45 withholding tax form.You should file the S45 Form before making any payment. If you are not under GIRO for payment of withholding tax, you should quote the 14-digit payment slip number found on the acknowledgement page generated upon successful submission of the S45 form when making payment.


If you received an outstanding payment letter even though you have already made payment, you may write in to us at enfs45@iras.gov.sg with a copy of the payment advice and/or bank statement and the related acknowledgement page of the filed S45 form, for our review.

Erroneously quoting multiple payment slip numbers in one single electronic payment to IRAS

For every 14-digit payment slip number that you get after e-filing, you should make a separate electronic payment quoting the number.  Only one payment slip number should be quoted in each electronic payment to IRAS. 

 

In future, to avoid having multiple payment slip numbers when you submit multiple S45 Forms, please follow the steps below so that only one payment slip number will be generated for multiple S45 Forms submission: 
1. Click 'File more forms'/'Approve more forms' after validating the details at the consolidated page.

2. Continue with the remaining records.  

3. Select 'File more forms'/'Approve more forms' after preparing or approving the last form instead of clicking 'Submit'.  

4. Under the S45 tab, click on 'Submit S45 Forms' and perform a wild search without keying in any search criteria. The search results will show all the forms you have filed/approved.  

5. Check all the forms you wish to submit to IRAS. 

6. Complete the Declaration and proceed to submit. 

7. A single payment slip number will be generated for all the records that were submitted together.

  • What is the Date of Payment to the Non-Resident to be declared?

    Below are some scenarios to help Payers determine the Date of Payment to the Non-Resident

    Scenarios Date of Payment to the Non-Resident Filing and Payment Due Date to IRAS
    Technical Assistance Fees
    A non-resident company issued an invoice dated 26 Mar 2020 to a payer for technical assistance fees in respect of services rendered. The invoice stated that the amount must be paid in 30 days. The payer received the invoice on 08 Mar 2020 and paid the non-resident on 19 Apr 2020.          

    26 Mar 2020

    (based on invoice date)
    15 May 2020
    Royalty Payment

    The agreement stated that royalties at 5% of sales shall accrue to the non-resident person at the end of each quarter.

    In this instance, the royalty period from Apr to Jun 2020 was accrued on 30 Jun 2020 (end of quarter), and the royalty payment was only made to the non-resident on 15 Jul 2020.

    30 Jun 2020

    (based on date of accrual)
    15 Aug 2020
    Director Fees
    The director fee of $50,000 for period 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019, was voted and approved in the company's Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 2 Aug 2020. However, the fee was only paid to the director on 29 Sep 2020.
    2 Aug 2020
    (based on AGM date)

    15 Oct 2020