We 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.

You can also read highlights of past feedback here.

Clear Guidelines

Suggestions and Feedback IRAS' Response
1 Director’s Fees Approved in Arrears/Advance
To provide more clarity on the tax treatment for director’s fees approved in arrears/advance.
The webpage on Employment Income has been enhanced with examples on the tax treatment for director’s fees approved in arrears/advance.

Information for New Companies
New companies that closed their accounts in their first year of incorporation are not sure of their filing obligations and the procedures to request for an income tax return.

We have designed an infographic to illustrate the filing obligations of a new company. Companies may also refer to the Form C-S/C webpage for the procedures to request for an income tax return.

3 Instalment Plan for Payment of Estimated Taxes for Corporate Tax
For the payment of estimated taxes, there is confusion on the number of instalments and the start date of the instalment plan.
We have added examples to illustrate how the number of instalments and the start date of the GIRO instalment plan will depend on the date that the company filed its Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) .

Determining the Existence of a Trade
To provide information on how IRAS determines whether or not a trade exists.

A new webpage, Determining the Existence of a Trade , was created to provide information on the factors to determine whether a trade exists.

5Taxability of Grants
To provide certainty regarding the taxability of certain grants, in particular, the Capability Development Grant (CDG) and Temporary Employment Credit (TEC).

We have added the tax treatment of CDG and TEC into our webpage on Tax Treatment of Grants/Payouts Commonly Received by Companies .

Suggestions to Include Information on the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme on the IRAS Website:
  • To clarify on procedures to disclose errors in their PIC claims.

  • To clarify the tax treatment in respect to the PIC Cash payout on expenditure incurred on PIC IT and automation equipment constructed over two or more YAs and intellectual property registered over two or more YAs.

  • To provide information on whether website and software development costs are eligible for PIC benefits.

  • To provide information on how to apply for PIC cash payout via myTax portal.

  • To provide information on how to report PIC abuse.

  • To improve the flow of information on PIC pages.

We have updated our website to include the suggested information and have reorganised the PIC pages.

Simple way to comply

No. Suggestions and Feedback IRAS' Response
1 SMS Notifications
To have more SMS notifications for taxpayers

We have introduced various new SMS initiatives, including proactive reminders to pay outstanding taxes and other notifications to enhance taxpayer’s convenience.

We have also enhanced our process flow such that taxpayers who provide their mobile number to IRAS will be automatically included in the whole suite of SMS services.


e-Filing Withholding Tax

Currently, taxpayers must have a Singapore account for GIRO deduction before they can enjoy the convenience and security of e-filing their withholding tax.

We received feedback from taxpayers who want to e-file but were unable to because they do not have a local bank account.

We have enhanced our e-filing system and taxpayers are now able to e-file and pay the withholding tax by other payment modes such as cheque and electronic payments (internet banking, AXS stations, SAM Kiosk) from Jan 2016.

Reprinting Stamp Certificate

e-Stamping users were unable to trace their transaction without the Merchant Reference Code, Transaction ID or Payment Slip Number. Hence, it was difficult for them to reprint the Stamp Certificate after payment has been cleared.
A new user interface, Payment Transaction ID, was implemented on Apr 2015. It allows e-Stamping users to key in their details and trace the transaction, and to reprint the Stamp Certificate once payment has been cleared.
4Prior Year Annual Values
To make the Annual Value of the property for the prior and current year available. This will make it convenient for taxpayers to obtain prior year Annual Values without having to email IRAS.

IRAS enhanced the e-Valuation List service to automate the search for past five years’ Valuation Lists. Employees or tax agents who need to obtain this information to determine the taxable accommodation benefits provided by the employers will be able to obtain the information at a lower cost and enjoy greater convenience.

5Requirements for Major Exporter Scheme (MES) Renewal

Since Jan 2013, GST-registered businesses applying for or renewing their MES status are required to use the Assisted Self-Help Kit (ASK) to verify their past GST reporting. The reviews are required to be certified by qualified tax professionals.

The MES requirements have caused businesses, particularly SMEs, to incur additional compliance costs to engage a certified tax professional for GST submissions.

The requirement of verifying past GST reporting using ASK was introduced to assist MES applicants to detect GST errors and take corrective actions.

Arising from the feedback, IRAS has extended the validity period for MES renewals from three to five years, since businesses have undertaken ASK reviews to verify their GST reporting compliance. The extension will help SMEs to better cope with the MES renewal costs.

6Allowing Consolidated Cargo Clearance Permit as Export Evidence

Taxpayers have suggested allowing a consolidated cargo clearance permit (which contains the supplier's invoice number and invoice value) to be used as transport document in place of a subsidiary export certificate, to support zero-rating of a supply of goods.
We are unable to accept the suggestion as the consolidated cargo clearance permit does not show the GST-registered supplier as the exporter of the goods. Hence, it cannot serve as a transport document to prove that the goods sold by the supplier are exported.

Businesses should ensure that they maintain the transaction and transport documents listed in the e-Tax Guide, “ GST: Guide on Exports (PDF, 665KB)” before zero-rating their supply of goods.
7Issuance of Tax Invoices for Section 33(2) Agents
A Section 33(2) agent importing goods belonging to the overseas principal may also be the buyer of the imported goods from the overseas principal. Under the general invoicing requirements, the Section 33(2) agent is required to issue a tax invoice on behalf of the overseas principal to itself for the purchase of the goods.

These agents have to write in to the Comptroller to request for a waiver to issue the tax invoice, and have given feedback on this requirement.

To ease compliance for businesses, the requirement for the Section 33(2) agent to issue tax invoices to itself on behalf of the overseas principal has been waived and no prior approval is needed.

This change has been reflected in the e-tax guide, “ GST: Guide on Imports (PDF, 624KB)”. Other requirements of a Section 33(2) agent will still apply.