General Corporate Income Tax Rules

Corporate Income Tax is assessed on a preceding year basis in Singapore. Singapore’s Corporate Income Tax rate is 17%.

Definition of a Company

For income tax purposes, the following is considered a company:

  • A business entity incorporated or registered under the Companies Act or any law in force in Singapore. It usually has the words 'Pte Ltd' or 'Ltd' as part of its name
  • A foreign company registered in Singapore such as a branch of a foreign company
  • A foreign company incorporated or registered outside Singapore

A sole-proprietorship or partnership business is not considered a company.

Basis Period & Year of Assessment

Your company is taxed on the income earned in the preceding financial year.

This means that income earned in the financial year 2020 will be taxed in 2021. In tax terms, 2021 is the Year of Assessment (YA), as it is the year in which your company’s income is assessed to tax.

To assess the amount of tax, IRAS looks at the income, expenses, etc. during the financial year. This financial year is known as the 'basis period'.

The basis period is generally a 12-month period preceding the YA.


Examples of Basis Periods Based on Different Financial Year Ends


The financial year end is determined by your company based on what best suits its business operations. IRAS does not determine the financial year end for companies.

If you change your company’s financial year end, the change must be filed with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) via BizFile+. IRAS will then update its records based on the information filed with ACRA.

Corporate Income Tax Rate

Your company is taxed at a flat rate of 17% of its chargeable income. This applies to both local and foreign companies.

Chargeable Income

Chargeable income refers to your company's taxable income (after deducting tax-allowable expenses) for a Year of Assessment (YA).

Learn more about taxable and non-taxable income and business expenses.

Corporate Income Tax Filing Obligations

Your company has to file 2 Corporate Income Tax Returns with IRAS every year: Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) and Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C.

Overview of Corporate Income Tax Returns

Tax Return Purpose Due Date
ECI To declare an estimate of the company's taxable income for a Year of Assessment (YA) Within 3 months from the end of the financial year, except for companies that qualify for the ECI filing waiver and those that are specifically not required to file an ECI
Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C To declare the company’s actual taxable income for a YA 30 Nov each year

Watch our e-Learning video to learn more about the different types of Corporate Income Tax Returns.

Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) Filing

You will receive an ECI filing notification before the end of your company’s financial year*. This is a reminder to file your company’s ECI.

Learn more about ECI and whether your company qualifies for the ECI filing waiver or is specifically not required to file.

* If your company has changed its financial year end, you are required to update the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) via the Change of Financial Year End digital service at BizFile+. Learn more about updating company particulars.

For New Companies

You will receive the ECI filing notification from IRAS before the end of your company’s financial year, starting from the year after the year of incorporation. You will not receive the notification in the year of incorporation, as most companies do not close their first set of accounts in the year of incorporation. For example, if your company is incorporated in 2021 and has a Dec financial year end, you will receive your first ECI filing notification for the Year of Assessment (YA) 2023 in Dec 2022.

However, if your company closes its first set of accounts in the year of incorporation, you are still required to file the ECI within 3 months from your company's first financial year end, even though you have not received any ECI filing notification. This is so unless the company qualifies for the ECI filing waiver.

Using the same example above, if your company closes its first set of accounts on 31 Dec 2021 and does not qualify for the ECI filing waiver, you are required to file the ECI for YA 2022 by 31 Mar 2022 (within 3 months from 31 Dec 2021).

Example

Company A is incorporated on 15 Jul 2021 and has a Dec financial year end.

Scenario First Set of Accounts Due Date to File First ECI
A: Closes its first set of accounts in the year of incorporation 15 Jul 2021 to 31 Dec 2021 File for YA 2022 (basis period from 15 Jul 2021 to 31 Dec 2021) by 31 Mar 2022
B: Does not close its first set of accounts in the year of incorporation 15 Jul 2021 to 31 Dec 20221

File for

  1. YA 2022 (basis period from 15 Jul 2021 to 31 Dec 2021); and
  2. YA 2023 (basis period from 1 Jan 2022 to 31 Dec 2022)

together by 31 Mar 2023

1 As the company's first set of accounts covers a period of more than 12 months from the date of incorporation, its profit/ losses must be attributed and declared under 2 YAs.

Time apportionment basis may be used if the company is not able to directly identify income and expenses to the 2 periods.

2 For both scenarios, the company will receive its first ECI filing notification for YA 2023 in Dec 2022. There will be no notification for YA 2022.

Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C Filing

You will receive a Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C filing notification by May of each year. This is a reminder to file your company’s Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C.

Learn more about Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C and whether your company should file Form C-S, Form C-S (Lite) or Form C.

For New Companies

You will receive the Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C filing notification from IRAS by May of each year, starting from the second year after the year of incorporation*. You will not receive the notification in the year of incorporation, as most companies do not close their first set of accounts in the year of incorporation. For example, if your company is incorporated in 2021, you will receive your first Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C filing notification for the Year of Assessment (YA) 2023 by May 2023.

However, if in the year of incorporation, your company:

  • Closes its first set of accounts; and
  • Commences business or receives any income;

you are still required to file the Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C for the YA immediately after the year of incorporation, even though you have not received any Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C filing notification.

Using the same example above, if your company closes its first set of accounts on 31 Dec 2021, and commences business or receives income in 2021, you are required to file the Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C for YA 2022 by 30 Nov 2022.

* This is only applicable for newly incorporated companies. Singapore branches of foreign companies will be issued the Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C filing notifications after the first year of business. For example, if your branch is registered in Singapore in 2021, you will receive your first Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C filing notification for YA 2022 by May 2022.

Example

Company A is incorporated on 15 Jul 2021 and has a Dec financial year end.

Scenario First Set of Accounts Due Date to File First Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C
A: Closes its first set of accounts and commences business/ receives income in the year of incorporation 15 Jul 2021 to 31 Dec 2021 File for YA 2022 (basis period from 15 Jul 2021 to 31 Dec 2021) by 30 Nov 20221
B: Closes its first set of accounts but does not commence business/ receive income in the year of incorporation 15 Jul 2021 to 31 Dec 2021

No need to file for YA 2022 (basis period from 15 Jul 2021 to 31 Dec 2021)

File for YA 2023 (basis period from 1 Jan 2022 to 31 Dec 2022) by 30 Nov 2023

C: Does not close its first set of accounts in the year of incorporation 15 Jul 2021 to 31 Dec 20222

File for

  1. YA 2022 (basis period from 15 Jul 2021 to 31 Dec 2021); and
  2. YA 2023 (basis period from 1 Jan 2022 to 31 Dec 2022)

by 30 Nov 2023

1 Refer to this step-by-step guide (PDF, 2.65MB) on how to file your first Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C for the YA immediately after the year of incorporation.

2 As the company's first set of accounts covers a period of more than 12 months from the date of incorporation, its profit/ losses must be attributed and declared under 2 YAs.

Time apportionment basis may be used if the company is not able to directly identify income and expenses to the 2 periods.

3 For all 3 scenarios, the company will receive its first Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C filing notification for YA 2023 by May 2023. There will be no notification for YA 2022.

FAQs

General

  1. What is my company’s tax reference number for filing ECI and Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C?

    Local Companies with UEN (yyyynnnnnX format) Foreign Companies with UEN (TyyPQnnnnX format) Others without UEN
    Local Companies with UEN (yyyynnnnnX format) E.g. 200312345A Foreign Companies with UEN (TyyPQnnnnX format) E.g. T08FC1234A Others without UEN E.g. A2500123J

    You must use the correct tax reference number to file your company’s ECI and Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C.

  2. I have a new company and I do not know how to compute its taxes. What should I do?

    You may refer to our Basic Corporate Income Tax Calculator for assistance in preparing your company’s tax computation and supporting schedules when filing its Corporate Income Tax Returns.

  3. Do I need to engage a tax agent or consultant to prepare and file my company’s ECI and Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C with IRAS?

    It is not a requirement. Whilst deciding whether to engage professional help for your company's tax matters, you may wish to find out about the fees charged by the tax professional and their expertise in relation to the services that you need.

    These various service channels will give you a better understanding of your company's tax filing obligations and assist you in the filing of ECI and Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C with IRAS:

Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C Filing

  1. My company did not file the ECI for the Year of Assessment (YA) 2021 as it qualifies for the ECI filing waiver. Does my company still need to file the Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C for YA 2021?

    Yes, your company must file the Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C for YA 2021. The requirement to file Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C is independent of the ECI filing waiver.

  2. My company has already filed the ECI for YA 2021 with IRAS. Does my company still need to file the Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C for YA 2021 by the filing due date of 30 Nov 2021?

    Yes, your company must file the YA 2021 Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C by the filing due date of 30 Nov 2021. This is separate from your company’s ECI filing.

    All companies must file both Corporate Income Tax Returns (i.e. ECI and Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C) every year, unless they qualify for the ECI filing waiver.

  3. My company has filed the Annual Return with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Does it still need to file the Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C with IRAS?

    Yes, your company must file the Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C by the filing due date.

    If your company is filing Form C, it does not need to submit the financial statements to IRAS if it has filed a full set of financial statements with ACRA in XBRL format.

  4. Does my company need to file the Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C if it did not carry on business or is in a loss position?

    Yes, your company must file the Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C by the filing due date, unless your company has been granted a waiver to file Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C.

  5. Does my company need to file the Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C with IRAS if it qualifies for the tax exemption scheme for new start-up companies?

    Yes. Your company must file the Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C to confirm its eligibility for the tax exemption scheme for new start-up companies and to make a claim for this tax exemption by the filing due date.

  6. As at 1 Jun 2021, I have not received any Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C filing notification. Does my company still need to file the Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C for YA 2021?

    If your company is in its first 2 years of its incorporation, read Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C Filing - For New Companies to learn when to file your Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C for the first time.

    If your company is beyond its first 2 years of incorporation, you must file the Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C for YA 2021 even if you did not receive the Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C filing notification. You may proceed to log in to mytax.iras.gov.sg to file the Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C.

  7. I received a Form C filing notification in May 2021. Can I file Form C-S for my company instead?

    Yes, you can file Form C-S if your company qualifies to do so. You may do so by logging in to mytax.iras.gov.sg.

Additional Tips for New Companies

New Company Start-Up Kit

Access the New Company Start-Up Kit, an interactive e-Learning guide, to learn more about your Corporate Income Tax filing obligations. This Kit will provide you with the information you need for your first tax filing process - from incorporation to the filing of the first Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) and Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)/ Form C.

Find out more about the New Company Start-Up Kit.

Corporate Income Tax e-Learning Videos

Company representatives who are responsible for the preparation and filing of the Corporate Income Tax Returns and other Corporate Income Tax matters are encouraged to watch our e-Learning videos.

Determining Your Company’s First Year of Assessment (YA)

The first YA of your company is the YA that relates to the basis period during which your company is incorporated.

It depends on the financial year end chosen and the closing date of the first set of accounts. Hence, the first YA of your company may differ from another company that is incorporated on the same day.

Example 1: First Set of Accounts is 12 months

Date of Incorporation Financial Year End First Set of Accounts Closed On Period Covered in First Set of Accounts
1 Jul 2020 30 Jun every year 30 Jun 2021 1 Jul 2020 to 30 Jun 2021 (12 months)
YA Basis Period
First YA: 2022 1 Jul 2020 to 30 Jun 2021 (12 months)
Second YA: 2023 1 Jul 2021 to 30 Jun 2022
Third YA: 2024 1 Jul 2022 to 30 Jun 2023

Example 2: First Set of Accounts is less than 12 months

Date of Incorporation Financial Year End First Set of Accounts Closed On Period Covered in First Set of Accounts
1 Jul 2020 31 Dec every year 31 Dec 2020 1 Jul 2020 to 31 Dec 2020 (Less than 12 months)
YA Basis Period
First YA: 2021 1 Jul 2020 to 31 Dec 2020 (Less than 12 months)
Second YA: 2022 1 Jan 2021 to 31 Dec 2021
Third YA: 2023 1 Jan 2022 to 31 Dec 2022

Example 3: First Set of Accounts is more than 12 months

Date of Incorporation Financial Year End First Set of Accounts Closed On Period Covered in First Set of Accounts
1 Jul 2020 31 Dec every year 31 Dec 2021 1 Jul 2020 to 31 Dec 2021 (More than 12 months)
YA Basis Period
First YA: 2021 1 Jul 2020 to 31 Dec 2020 (Less than 12 months)
Second YA: 2022 1 Jan 2021 to 31 Dec 2021
Third YA: 2023 1 Jan 2022 to 31 Dec 2022

Note:

The company's profit/ losses must be attributed and declared under 2 YAs (i.e. YAs 2021 and 2022) as the basis period for each YA should not exceed 12 months. Therefore, the first YA is YA 2021, and not YA 2022.

Time apportionment may be used if the company is not able to directly identify its income and expenses to the 2 periods.

Attribution of Profits/ Losses for New Companies

Some new companies operate for more than 12 months before closing their first set of accounts. When this happens, the first set of accounts covers more than 12 months.

Generally, the basis period cannot exceed 12 months. The profits or losses must therefore be apportioned and attributed to 2 different Years of Assessment (YAs).

Your company should directly identify the income earned and expenses incurred for each of the 2 YAs, based on the actual dates the income was earned and the expenses were incurred. If this cannot be done, the time apportionment method can be used, where the income earned and expenses incurred are apportioned based on the number of days in the corresponding YAs.

Example

Date of Incorporation Financial Year End First Set of Accounts Closed On Revenue Expenses
15 Apr 2019 30 Jun every year 30 Jun 2020 $120,000 $60,000 
YA Basis Period Revenue Expenses
2020 15 Apr 2019 to 30 Jun 2019 ($120,000 ÷ 443 days) x 77 days ($60,000 ÷ 443 days) x 77 days
2021 1 Jul 2019 - 30 Jun 2020 ($120,000 ÷ 443 days) x 366 days ($60,000 ÷ 443 days) x 366 days

Expenses Incurred Before Commencement of Business

Generally, expenses incurred before your business commences its business are not tax-deductible as these are incurred to set up the operations of the business and not 'wholly and exclusively' for the production of income.

To assist businesses in enterprise development, revenue expenses incurred 1 year prior to the deemed date of commencement of business are deductible for tax purposes.

Learn more about the deductibility of expenses incurred before commencement of business and how to determine the actual date of commencement of business.

Using Corporate Income Tax Digital Services

Access digital services at mytax.iras.gov.sg, a secure channel that is available round the clock.

Setting Up Corppass

Your company must first authorise its staff or third party (e.g. tax agent) in Corppass before they can access the digital services at mytax.iras.gov.sg on behalf of your company.

View the step-by-step guides to learn how to set up Corppass.

Corporate Income Tax Digital Services Available

What You Want to Do Type of Digital Service
File your taxes 1) File Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI)
2) File Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite)
3) File Form C
4) File Form for Dormant Company
5) Submit Document
Check your tax assessment 6) View Corporate Income Tax Filing Status
7) View Notices/ Letters - Corporate Income Tax
8) View Donations
Object to your tax assessment 9) Revise/ Object to Assessment
Check how much you owe IRAS 10) View Account Summary
11) View Payment Plan
Others 12) Access Company Dashboard
13) Access Tax Agent Digital Services (only available for tax agents)
14) Apply for Certificate of Residence (COR)
15) Apply for Waiver/ File last Form C-S/ C (Dormant/ Striking Off)
16) Update Corporate Profile/ Contact Details
17) Update Notice Preferences

View the full list of Corporate Income Tax digital services and the respective user guides.