Ahead of the Jul 2020 Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) payouts, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) would like to remind employers to ensure that the correct amounts of their mandatory CPF contributions for their employees for the months of February, March, April 2020 have been made. Employers are also to ensure that the amount of mandatory CPF contributions in subsequent months are accurate so that they receive the right amounts of JSS payout.
The JSS provides wage support to employers to offset part of the wages of local employees (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents) during this period of economic uncertainty. Under the JSS, the Government will co-fund between 25% to 75% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages paid to each local employee for a 10-month period. Employers need not apply for the scheme, as the cash grant will be automatically computed based on mandatory CPF contribution data.
It is thus vital that employers contribute the right amount of CPF for bona fide employees based on the actual wages paid. IRAS is aware of possible abuses by employers in order to obtain higher JSS payouts. This is dishonest and is unfair to the employees, other employers and society at large. Some unacceptable practices include but are not limited to:
making purported mandatory CPF contributions for non-genuine employees;
continuing purported mandatory CPF contributions for employees who have been retrenched or put on no-pay leave;
maintaining purported mandatory CPF contribution amounts based on past wages for employees who have suffered wage cuts;
increasing purported mandatory CPF contributions for employees without any actual wage increase;
inflating purported mandatory CPF contributions and deducting these excess contributions from employees’ wages in cash;
artificially splitting the wages of employees across multiple related business entities to overcome the salary limit for the JSS payout.
Please see Annex A (PDF, 292KB) for illustrations.
IRAS takes a very serious view on any attempt to abuse the JSS. To detect possible abuses, IRAS has instituted a robust anti-gaming framework leveraging data from multiple sources to identify risks. It has also established a dedicated team to prevent and detect abuses.
As part of this framework, IRAS may write to employers to request them to conduct self-reviews and to provide declarations or documents to substantiate their eligibility for JSS payouts. The JSS payouts will be made only after these employers have submitted their declarations and verification done by IRAS. Employers who do not respond or are unable to support the validity of the mandatory CPF contributions made for their employees will not receive JSS payouts.
Severe Penalties for Abusing JSS
The penalties for any attempt to abuse the JSS are severe. Offenders can be charged under Section 420 of the Penal Code, and may face up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine.
Reporting of Past Mistakes and Malpractices
Employers who have made incorrect mandatory CPF contributions for February, March, April 2020 and subsequent months to their employees and would like to declare their errors may do so at go.gov.sg/jssreview. Employers will also need to rectify the errors via CPF Online Application service 1. No actions will be taken against them provided the disclosure is accurate and complete.
Employers who wish to rectify mistakes made for mandatory CPF contributions in February, March and April 2020 must do so by 30 June 2020. The JSS payouts will be made after rectifications to CPF contributions have been processed.
Businesses or individuals who wish to report to IRAS any malpractices or potential abuses of the JSS may do so via email to [email protected] or online at go.gov.sg/jssreport. IRAS will ensure that the identities of informants are kept strictly confidential.
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
1 Please refer to Annex B (PDF, 37KB) for details.
Infographics – JSS At A Glance (PDF, 383KB)