Our Belief about Taxpayers
IRAS believes that a large majority of compliant taxpayers exerts an influence on societal behaviour and creates pressure on the minority group of errant taxpayers to turn compliant.
IRAS tailors our compliance approach to the following four taxpayer profiles, so that we can assist and interact with taxpayers according to their needs:
1. Voluntarily Compliant
The vast majority of taxpayers comply voluntarily with their tax obligations. We proactively provide the necessary platforms and services to enable them to do so.
Examples: e-Services, frontline services, No-Filing Service, and simplification of filing via the Auto-inclusion of Employment Income Scheme
Some taxpayers want to comply but require assistance to do so. We invest effort into raising taxpayers’ awareness of tax issues and providing taxpayers with accurate information to prevent non-compliance.
Examples: SMS reminders, seminars, public communications and dialogues with trade associations
Some taxpayers may not have given sufficient attention to their tax obligations. We seek to detect errors and deter this group from making recurring mistakes.
Examples: Audit Programmes and Voluntary Disclosure Programme to encourage self-correction of errors
A minority of taxpayers intentionally cheat or evade tax. IRAS will not hesitate to take strong actions against them and penalise such errant taxpayers. If you are aware that someone has evaded tax in Singapore, you are encouraged to contact us.
Examples: Deterrent penalties, enforcement actions, investigation and prosecution
Integrated Compliance and Service Framework
The Integrated Compliance and Service Framework (ICSF) depicts how our focus on compliance and service is aligned to IRAS’ vision and corporate goals include providing excellent service and maximising voluntary compliance.
In line with this, the ICSF anchors our compliance and service actions in 4 strategic elements – Right Design from the Start, Right Service to Meet Taxpayers’ Needs, Right Actions at the Right Time and Right Taxpaying Values – collectively known as The “Four Rights”:
1. Right Design from the Start
A simple tax system makes it easier for taxpayers to fulfil their tax obligations. IRAS actively influences the design of policies and tax laws where possible, to ensure that tax rules and processes are clear and easy to comply with.
IRAS also continuously explores ways to integrate tax within taxpayers’ systems or life events, so that taxpayers need not expend additional effort just for tax purposes. This embodies our belief that “no need for service is the best service”.
2. Right Service to Meet Taxpayers' Needs
Taxpayers who know their tax obligations will be more responsible for their tax matters. IRAS seeks to understand taxpayers’ needs so as to provide excellent and timely service through various channels and service initiatives, enabling taxpayers to fulfil their tax obligations with ease.
3. Right Actions at the Right Time
While most taxpayers are generally compliant, there may be a small group who are non-compliant. For the latter, IRAS will put in place strong deterrent measures which are effective, calibrated and timely to ensure such taxpayers pay their fair share of taxes. This will maintain society’s confidence in the fairness and sustainability of Singapore’s tax system.
4. Right Taxpaying Values
IRAS is committed to building a community which believes in taxpaying as a shared social responsibility. Working alongside our partners and stakeholders, we aim to inculcate strong taxpaying values in the community
IRAS' Focus on Taxpayer Compliance
IRAS adopts a risk-based approach in carrying out compliance actions. We identify and prioritise key compliance risks and develop programmes to address these risks.
IRAS also aims to foster an environment of voluntary compliance by sharing our compliance focus areas for the year. Taxpayers can benefit from understanding these main compliance issues and what IRAS is doing to address these.