Singapore Budget 2017: Insights on New Measures

Is Singapore’s corporate income tax rate competitive?

Is Singapore’s corporate rate less competitive that Hong Kong?  

Is Singapore a tax haven?

How will the declining global trend of declining tax rate affect Singapore’s competiveness?

Should the withholding tax be increased or would Goods and Services Tax go up?

The answers to these poignant questions were given by Evelyn Lim at the Budget Briefing session organized by SiTF with support from BDO Tax Advisory Pte Ltd.  Affable and engaging, Evelyn, Tax Director at BDO, discussed the corporate and personal income tax changes announced in this year’s budget. 

Evelyn summarized the aspects of Budget 2017 that were pertinent to businesses.  She further discussed about the tax implications from the Intellectual Property (IP) development scheme and Global Trader programme which encourages companies to use Singapore as a trading hub. Considered a complex claim process, Evelyn simplified the Cost Sharing Agreement in R&D projects.

Moving on to Personal tax, she reminded the audience about the income tax filing dates: 15 Apr for  paper filing and 18 Apr for e-filing. “Look out for the $500 tax rebate angpow!” enthused Evelyn.

Prerna Prakash Bathija, Transfer Pricing Manager & India Desk presented on Transfer Pricing which is pricing of the provision of goods, assets, services and financing between related parties.  Dwelling into the details, she explained that transfer pricing rules exist to ensure that the pricing between related parties corresponds with third party agreements and how these rules seek to prevent the misallocation of profit to low tax territories.

A topic increasing relevant in Singapore as the infocomm and digital media space in the world is fast shrinking.  Eloquently, she highlighted the key changes to transfer pricing and explained the revised guidelines.

The audience of small business owners and finance professionals raised many questions on transfer pricing.

So, is Singapore’s corporate rate less competitive that Hong Kong? “No!” Evelyn says empathically that Singapore’s effective corporate tax rate hovers around 10%.