Basic checklist of things to do including keeping proper accounts, preparing statements and filing income tax for partnerships.

1. Know your tax obligations

All self-employed persons (which includes partners with partnerships registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)) must report the income earned from their business operations as business income, not salary. The business income is part of the total personal income which is taxed at individual income tax rates.

The precedent partner of a partnership is also required to submit the partnership Income Tax Return (Form P) on behalf of the partnership even though the partnership itself does not pay taxes.

2. File annual return for partnership (Form P)

While a partnership does not pay tax, it still has to file an annual Income Tax Return (Form P) to show all income earned and business expenses deducted by the partnership during the year.

The partnership is required to file the Form P if it has received the paper Form P or invitation to e-File, even if it has not commenced business in the year.

e-Filing of Form P is available from 1 Feb and due on 18 Apr. The partnership can e-File the Form P via myTax Portal (Business Tax) with your Singpass. 

If a partnership e-Files the Form P by 28 Feb, the partnership allocation will be pre-filled in the respective partners' Form B/B1. With this pre-filling initiative, the precedent partner need not separately inform the respective partners of their share of the partnership income and the individual partners can enjoy the convenience of having their tax return pre-filled.

The precedent partner can refer to the responsibilities of precedent partners for more details.

Obtaining paper Form P

You will not be able to download a softcopy of the Form P from the IRAS website. If you require a hardcopy of the paper Form P, please call us at 1800-356-8300 during our operating hours from Monday to Friday (8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.) or email us via  myTax Mail with your Singpass.

For more details on how to complete Form P, please refer to the Filing Guide for Partnership (Form P) (PDF, 177KB).

3. Decide on the accounting period

Partnerships should decide on the accounting period when the partnership is formed or starts to operate. Most businesses, including partnerships, choose accounting periods that end on 31 Dec each year. You may choose an accounting period that ends on any date.

Example 1: Accounting period that ends on 31 Dec

Your partnership starts on 1 April 2019 and you choose the accounting period to end on 31 Dec every year. The relevant accounting periods and the respective Years of Assessment (YA) are:

 Accounting PeriodYA
1st Accounting Period01 Apr 2019 to 31 Dec 2019YA 2020
2nd Accounting Period01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020YA 2021
3rd Accounting Period01 Jan 2021 to 31 Dec 2021YA 2022
4th Accounting Period01 Jan 2022 to 31 Dec 2022YA 2023

Example 2: Accounting period other than 31 Dec

Your business starts on 1 April 2019 and you choose to end your accounting period on 31 Mar. The relevant accounting periods and the respective YAs are:

 Accounting PeriodYA
1st Accounting Period01 Apr 2019 to 31 Mar 2020YA 2021
2nd Accounting Period01 Apr 2020 to 31 Mar 2021YA 2022
3rd Accounting Period01 Apr 2021 to 31 Mar 2022YA 2023

4. Prepare statement of accounts

At the end of every accounting period, you must prepare the statement of accounts which comprises:

  • Profit and Loss Account; and
  • Balance Sheet

You can download and use the Statement of accounts for partnership (XLSX, 37KB).

For details, please refer to Preparing statement of accounts.

5. Prepare a 2-line / 4-line statement

The precedent partners should prepare the 2-line / 4-line statement by extracting the relevant figures from the partnership's statement of accounts for filing Form P.

2-line statement 

With effect from YA 2022, the 2-line statement is extended to partnerships with revenue of $200,000 or less as part of IRAS’ continuous efforts to simplify tax filing for small businesses.

The figures that you need when your revenue is $200,000 or less from YA 2022 are:

First lineRevenue
Second lineAdjusted Profit/Loss

4-line statement

The figures that you need when your revenue is more than $200,000 from YA 2022 are:

First lineRevenue
Second lineGross Profit/Loss
Third lineAllowable Business Expenses
Fourth lineAdjusted Profit/Loss

For YA 2021 and before, you should prepare the 4-line statement regardless of the amount of revenue earned.

For details, please refer to Calculating business income.

6. Calculate the divisible profit

Precedent partners are required to calculate the divisible profit of the partnership and allocate the profit to the partners.

Divisible profit is the adjusted profit/loss minus partners' salaries, allowances, bonuses, CPF contributions, interest on capital and any other expenses paid on behalf of all the partners.

Illustration: Calculating divisible profit

Adjusted Profit/Loss

Less:

  • Partners' salaries
  • Partners' allowances
  • Partners' Bonuses
  • Partners' CPF contributions
  • Partners' share of interest on capital
  • Expenses paid on behalf of partners

Example 3: Dividing profit among partners

ABC partnership is made up of partner A and B. Partners A and B agreed that a yearly salary of $6,000 and $4,800 will be paid to them respectively and the basis of sharing of divisible profit is 60:40.

For the year ended 31 Dec 2022, the partnership made a profit of $24,000 (after deducting partners' salaries). Partner A and B decide to retain the profit in the partnership for business use.

The income for A and B will be as follows:

PartnerABTotal
Basis of Sharing60%40%100%
Salary for year ended 31 Dec 2022$6,000$4,800$10,800
Balance: Divisible Profit$14,400$9,600$24,000
Total Adjusted Profit$20,400$14,400$34,800
The partnership income allocated to Partner A is $20,400. The partnership income allocated to Partner B is $14,400. The income will be assessed in their names even though the divisible profit of $24,000 was retained in the partnership account.

7. Allocation of profit/loss to partners

After the Form P has been processed, the notice of 'Allocation of Profit/Loss to Partners' will be sent to the precedent partner. The precedent partner is responsible for informing the other partner(s) of their share of profit or loss. The share of profit and loss to each partner will be taxed under each individual partner's name.

Please refer to the Responsibilities of precedent partners for more details.

8. Declaring partnership other income – rent from property

Rental income derived by a partnership from its partnership property or the sublet of a property, should be brought into the partnership accounts and distributed among partners based on the profit sharing ratio set out in the partnership agreement.

Partnership's property
A property bought with money or funds belonging to the partnership firm is generally deemed to have been bought on account of the firm and is a partnership property. Profits of the partnership that have been distributed to partners (i.e. drawings) is not considered money or funds belonging to the firm.

A property belonging to a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) that is registered in the name of the LLP should generally be a partnership property.

To help you determine if a property is a partnership property, refer to the list of indicators below, which is not exhaustive:

  1. Property bought with funds of the partnership
  2. Used in the course or furtherance of the partnership business
  3. Agreement or mutual understanding among partners in relation to that property
  4. Reflected as an asset of the partnership
  5. The Sales & Purchase Agreement states that the property is for use by the partnership 

For more information on reporting rental income from property, please refer to Reporting rental income.

9. Objection to the allocation of profit/loss to partners

Objections to the allocation of profit/loss must be lodged through the precedent partner. The precedent partner must email us via myTax Mail with his/her Singpass, stating clearly the grounds of objection within 30 days from the date of the notice of 'Allocation of Profit/Loss to Partners'.

10. Keep proper records and accounts

You are required to keep full and accurate records and accounts of your partnership transactions. These records and accounts must be supported with invoices, receipts, vouchers, and other documents.

IRAS will not accept estimate and improper records. For details, please refer to Keeping proper records and accounts.

11. Pay withholding tax

When a non-resident person (including partnership with 100% non-resident partners) derives income of a specified nature (e.g. interest, royalty, director fees, technical service fees, etc.) in Singapore, such income may be subjected to withholding tax in Singapore.

In this regard, when you made such payment to a non-resident person, you are required to:

  1. Deduct the applicable withholding tax from the payment; and
  2. e-File and pay the withholding tax to IRAS by 15th of the second month from the date of payment to the non-resident.

The withholding tax rate varies according to the type of payment made to the non-resident person.

For more details, you can refer to Withholding tax.