We would like to thank taxpayers for giving us your suggestions and feedback through our various feedback channels. Here are some highlights of your suggestions and feedback, as well as IRAS' follow up actions. This year, there have been many suggestions related to the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme.

You can also read highlights of past feedback here.

Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme

No.Suggestions and FeedbackIRAS' Response
1To include more examples to show when an expenditure item is considered to have been incurred, as it was difficult to understand the principles to determine the date on which an expenditure item is incurred. A list of common purchases scenarios has been provided on the website. This will guide taxpayers on how to determine when an expenditure item is incurred, to enable them to make correct claims for tax deductions / allowances / PIC benefits.

Suggestions to include additional information on the PIC in the IRAS website:

  • When employers need to make Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions to employees to qualify for the PIC cash payout.
  • How IRAS updates applicants on the status of their application to claim PIC for equipment on a case-by-case basis.
  • How to claim capital allowances on assets that are approved for PIC on a case-by-case basis.
  • How businesses will receive the PIC Bonus.
  • Clarification that payouts given to employers (e.g. wage credit, jobs credit, absentee payroll and government-paid child care/ maternity leave etc) need not be offset against "total employee remuneration" for medical capping purposes.
  • To provide information tailored for PIC consultants and PIC vendors.
  • To provide more information to the public on signs that they may have been asked to participate in unacceptable PIC arrangements.
The suggestions have been accepted and the IRAS website has been updated.

To provide troubleshooting advice on some common problems faced when completing the online PIC application form.

Some taxpayers could not complete the existing online application form as they did not maximise the internet browser and therefore could not see the entire form. Those with pop-up blockers were also unable to print the forms for submission to IRAS.

The PIC cash payout online application form User Guide (PDF, 173KB) has been updated with the following:

  • A reminder to taxpayers to maximise their internet browsers to avoid missing out certain parts of the form during completion; and
  • Links to internet sites on how to disable the pop-up blockers to ensure successful printing.
4To provide a "save draft" feature for PIC cash payout application forms. Currently, taxpayers have to re-key in their information should they wish to revise the information in the application form. The e-Service for PIC cash payout application was launched on 10 Feb 2015. It contains a "save draft" function that allows the taxpayer to key in the information and save the application as draft until it is ready for submission to IRAS.
5To provide an e-Service to allow taxpayers to check their PIC cash payout application status online. Currently, the only avenue to check the PIC Cash Payout application status was to call IRAS' helplines, which is only open from Mondays to Fridays, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. The e-Service, "View PIC Cash Payout Application Status", was introduced as part of the suite of PIC Cash Payout e-Services on 10 Feb 2015. The e-Service allows taxpayers to check the status of their applications at their convenience.

Clear Guidelines

Suggestions and Feedback IRAS' Response
1 To provide clarity on Tax on Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) withdrawals. The web page, Tax on SRS Withdrawals has been enhanced with examples to illustrate the treatment for withdrawals.
2 To list more examples on situations in which the income derived from overseas employment will be considered as Singapore-sourced income. The web page, Working Outside Singapore has been enhanced with more examples on when overseas employment income is considered as Singapore-sourced income.
3 To provide some way to highlight updates or new information as it is difficult to determine what has been revised. New content is now indicated with “NEW!”, while revised content is indicated with “Revised!”

Simple way to comply

No. Suggestions and Feedback IRAS' Response
1 To provide a table of the Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) rates of different countries so that taxpayers can refer to it instead of reading the tax treaties in our website. A DTA calculator has been prepared, where the DTA rate will be populated when taxpayers provide the required information. The calculator has been available on the IRAS website since 25 Jun 2014.
2To make Clearance Directives available on myTax Portal as soon as clearance has been finalised. System has been enhanced to make the Directives viewable at myTax Portal three working days from the date that clearance is finalised.
3Claiming of Input Tax on Professional Membership Fees and Educational Courses

GST-registered businesses are not allowed to claim GST incurred on professional membership fees and educational courses if the expenses are incurred by their employees and are for the employees’ personal development/ benefit.

Taxpayers have provided feedback that the professional membership and courses are related and necessary to the employee’s job.

GST-registered businesses can claim input tax on goods/services supplied to them for business purpose and making of taxable supplies. If the services are supplied to the employees (and not to the business), the input tax is not claimable.

As a concession from Jan 2014, GST-registered businesses are allowed to claim the GST incurred on employees’ professional membership fees or educational courses, if they can show that the employee is acting as an agent of the business in incurring the expenses. The professional membership or courses must also be related to the employee’s job scope and enhance his/her job performance. More details are provided in the eTax Guide “GST: Fringe Benefits” (PDF, 485KB).

Simplified Processes

No.Suggestions and Feedback IRAS' Response
1 Taxpayers provided feedback that it was a hassle to get reimbursements from the developers for their share of the property tax. Owners of newly completed residential units are also often unaware that they are entitled to seek reimbursement for the developer's share of property tax when they receive their first valuation notice. Property developers will be notified of the annual values of new residential condominiums and apartments within two weeks from issuance of the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP). Early notification enables the property developer to work out the respective amounts of property tax payable by the developer and the purchaser. The developer initiates payment of their property tax upon handover of the unit, saving new owners the hassle of seeking reimbursement.
2To provide unzipped versions of the correspondences and notices on myTax Portal. Currently, taxpayers are unable to view these without extraction (unzip) software. The suggestion has been accepted. IRAS is working on an enhancement to this e-Service which would make the correspondences and notices available without extraction software.