Singapore accounting & tax considerations in 2021

Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC assists our Clients with timely compliance of their annual legal, accounting and tax obligations.

  • Singapore taxation

    • Tax rates

      1. A company, whether incorporated in Singapore or otherwise, is considered a resident of Singapore for tax purposes if it is managed and controlled in Singapore. The corporate tax rate for resident Singapore companies is 17%. This corporate tax rate is also applicable to subsidiaries registered in Singapore and to branches of foreign companies;
      2. From YA 2021 onwards, there will be no corporate income tax (‘CIT’) rebate;
      3. There is a partial tax exemption of 75% on the first S$10,000 and 50% on the next S$190,000 of the company’s regular income from YA 2020 onwards;
      4. A payer must withhold tax when certain types of payments such as interest, royalty and others are made to the non-resident companies. The withholding tax rate would range from 10% to 15%. There is no withholding tax on dividends paid by company resident in Singapore;
      5. There is no capital gain tax and inheritance or gift tax in Singapore;
      6. GST is Goods and Service Tax and it is imposed on supply of goods and services by a taxable person in Singapore and on the import of goods by any person in Singapore. Standard rate of GST is 7%. Few items are exempt from GST such as goods for export and international services and sale/ lease of residential land;
      7. Personal income tax in the country follows a progressive system and ranges between 2% and 22%;
      8. From YA 2019 onwards companies will be granted a 20% Corporate Income Tax Rebate capped at $10,000;
      9. Currently, only group relief is available in Singapore and not tax consolidation;
      10. A Singapore tax resident company can enjoy tax exemption on its specified foreign income that is remitted into Singapore.
    • Goods & services tax

      • A company must be registered to collect GST if its annual turnover exceeds or is likely to exceed S$1 million from the sale of taxable goods and services. This requirement may be waived if most of the goods or services are exported or supplied internationally (“zero-rated supplies”);
      • Advantageous for companies to register for GST when they are having considerable amount of input GST paid on their purchases and expenses, as they will be able to claim these input GST while submitting GST returns.
    • Filing due dates (corporate income tax)

      Mode of FilingFiling Deadline
      e-Filing (Form C-S/C)30 Nov

      From YA2021, all companies will be required to e-File by 30 November 2021. Paper filings will not be accepted.

    • Consequences of late / non-filing of tax returns

      IRAS may take the following actions if companies fail to file the Form C-S/ C, accounts and tax computation by the due date:

      • Issue an estimated Notice of Assessment (NOA). The company must pay the estimated tax within one month;
      • Offer to compound the offence with a composition amount not exceeding $1,000;
      • Issue a Section 65B(3) notice to the director to submit the required information in the Form C-S/ C to IRAS; and/or
      • Summon the company or person responsible for running the company (including the directors) to Court.
    • Tax exemptions and rebates

      If client owned bank account in Singapore with SG$ currency then they are subjected to Singapore corporate tax 17%, otherwise please provide support document or summary of transaction that show income derived from outside Singapore.

      • Nonresident companies
        1. A non-resident Singapore company is legally tax exempt if all of its income and profits are derived from overseas. Consequently, it can be an excellent entity to legally book global income;
        2. If a company is managed and controlled by directors and members residing outside of Singapore, then it is considered as a non-resident company;
        3. For the foreign income to be tax exempt, non-resident companies must not hold a bank account in Singapore to which the income and profits are remitted. Companies are obliged to hold international bank accounts.
        4. A company incorporated in Singapore but deemed as non-resident by the authorities is legally tax exempt if all income and profits are derived from overseas. Consequently, a properly structured Singapore company can be an excellent entity to legally book global income. If certain criteria are met, it is possible for the foreign income of a Singapore resident company to be legally tax exempt.
      • Resident companies
        1. Good news for a newly registered Singapore Companies. Entrepreneurs can now enjoy tax rebate on the profit in the first three financial years. Singapore Government exempt Private company on the following eligibility Criteria;
          • Registered in Singapore;
          • Tax Resident in Singapore for the given year of assessment;
          • Have more than 20 shareholders consistently throughout the assessment year or at least one individual must hold at least 10% of total number of issued ordinary shares in the company.

          Click here to access our corporation tax calculator;

        2. In order to minimize the global withholding tax, Singapore has signed 84 double taxation treaties. Singapore was one of the 68 countries that signed OECD Multilateral instrument on 7th June 2017.
        3. As per Income Tax Act and the Economic Expansion Incentives (EEIA), Singapore offers wide range of investment incentives including tax holidays and concessions, accelerated depreciation schemes and favourable loan conditions;
      • Start-ups
        1. To stimulate entrepreneurship, the Singapore government offers an extremely attractive tax exemption scheme for start-up companies. For the first three years, Singapore start-ups are exempt from corporate tax on the first S$100,000 and the next S$200,000 is 50% tax exempt;
        2. This scheme is applicable to tax resident companies that i) have less than 20 shareholders and ii) are not investment holding nor property development companies;
        3. Year four onwards, partial tax exemption will apply to all tax resident companies as follows: 75% on the first S$10,000 and 50% on the next S$290,000.
      • Shipping companies
        1. Shipping companies using Singapore registered ships enjoy a wide range of tax exemptions on income, while foreign ships have limited tax exemptions;
        2. Approved international shipping companies using ships in international waters also enjoy tax exemptions on certain types of international shipping income.
    • Singapore tax relief and business grant schemes

      As one of the world’s best places to start up a business, Singapore offers an array of tax relief schemes and small business grants. Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has been assisting our Clients to access government incentives and support programs.

      TitleBase / natureLinkPrerequisitesRelief (based of YA2020)
      Tax incentives
      Partial tax exemptionProfit before taxationSee here
      • New start-up tax exemption was not claimed during current year of assessment (YA)
      • Company must be incorporated in Singapore
      75% for first

      50% for next SG$190,000

      Capped SG$102,500

      New start up exemptionProfit before taxationSee here
      • Available only for first three YAs
      • Company must be incorporated in Singapore
      • Company must be tax resident in Singapore for that YA
      • All of the shareholders are individuals or at least one shareholder is an individual holding at least 10% of the issued ordinary shares of the company
      75% for first SG$100,000

      50% for next SG$100,000

      Capped at SG$125,000

      Tax rebateCorporate taxSee hereAll companies unless income is subject to withholding tax25% of tax payable

      Capped at SG$15,000

      Losses carried forwardAccumulated losses carried to subsequent periodSee hereAccumulated losses of last 5 years of assessment
      Losses carried backLosses of current year to claim taxes paid in a pastSee here
      • Can be carried back for one YA or three YAs (for YA 2020 enhanced carry-back relief) immediately preceding the YA in which trade losses were incurred
      • Only taxable expenses and income
      Capped at SG$100,000
      Deductible donationsAmount of donationSee hereDonations made to Singapore government or public for causes benefitting local community250% of donation is tax deductible
      Other incentives
      Digital Resilience BonusDigital improvementsSee hereAdoption of baseline digital solutions such as PayNow Corporate and e-invoicingS$10,000
      Enterprise Leadership for TransformationEducationSee here
      • Net assets or revenue more than SG$5 million
      • Physical presence in Singapore
      • 30% of equity held by a local
      One-year programme required to develop business
      SkillsFuture Enterprise CreditEnterprise transformation (e g training courses, qualification programs, etc)See here
      • Contributes at least S$750 Skills Development Levy
      • Employs at least 3 local employees
      • Meets Qualifying Periods
      Productivity Solutions GrantInvestments in high-tech and other programs / solutions to increase business productivitySee here
      • Must have business presence in Singapore
      • Purchased equipment / subscription is used for Singapore company needs
      • Minimum 30% local shareholding in company
      • Annual sales turnover less than S$100 million, OR less than 200 employers
      Refund of up to 80% of purchase cost
      Enterprise Development GrantGrant to support projects within core capabilities, innovation and productivity or market access activitiesSee here
      • Must have business presence in Singapore
      • Minimum 30% local shareholding in company
      • Approved application by ES
      Grant supports up to 90% of project
      Other incentivesSee here
    • Summary

      A summary of Singaporean corporation tax rules include:

      • A Singaporean LLC is legally exempt from all local taxes if the business has i) neither customers nor suppliers in Singapore nor ii) staff nor active directors in Singapore and iii) does not have a corporate bank account in Singapore. This non-resident LLC cannot benefit from double taxation treaties.
      • A Singaporean LLC is tax resident when the business in managed from Singapore including i) the majority of shareholders and directors reside in Singapore or frequently travel to Singapore to oversee local business activities, including attending Board meetings and ii) has a multi-currency corporate bank account in Singapore. A tax resident LLC enjoys the benefits of double taxation treaties and local government grants and tax incentives.
  • Tax reporting, accounting and auditing considerations

    1. Singapore tax reporting is straight forward, all returns can be submitted online. The Singapore tax authority is extremely efficient and organized;
    2. All Singapore incorporated companies must file their Corporate Tax Return by the filing deadline: 30 Nov for e-filing of the year following the financial year. Thereafter a notice of assessment will be issued to the Singapore company for corporate tax settlement. The Singapore company can pay the tax bill over 12 months, interest-free monthly instalments;
    3. There is mandatory e-filing of income tax returns from YA2021 onwards;
    4. All the companies must prepare financial statements in accordance with Singapore Financial Reporting Standards;
    5. As per the Companies Act, there is an exemption for dormant companies and small companies from filing of audited financial statements with returns . A company is considered as “small company” if: i) it is a private company for the financial year in question (i.e. it is owned by 50 members or less); and ii) if it meets at least 2 of the following 3 quantitative criteria for immediate past two financial years: a) total annual revenue not more than $10 million; b) total assets not more than $10 million and c) number of employees not more than 50;
    6. In accordance with GST Law, a Singapore Company is obliged to register for GST if annual sales exceed or is expected to exceed S$1 million in any calendar year. Healy Consultants Group PLC will be happy to assist you with GST registration for a one time fee of US$550;
    7. It is very important for all companies incorporated in Singapore to timely and efficiently fulfil their Singapore Regulatory Compliance requirements. Annual unaudited financial statements should be submitted to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) within 6 months of the financial year end;
    8. In accordance to Section 197(1)(b) of the Companies Act, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) imposes a penalty of S$300 for late filing of the annual return. The company director(s) are responsible to ensure an Annual General Meeting (AGM) is timely held and the Annual Return is filed within 1 month of the convening of AGM. Failure to comply is considered an offense and can lead to prosecution of the director(s);
    9. In accordance to Sections 175, 197 and 201 of The Companies Act, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) imposes penalty on unlisted companies (financial year ending on or after 31 Aug 2018) that i) fails to hold AGM within six months after financial year end; ii) fails to file the Annual Return within 7 months after financial year end and iii) fail to present audited accounts within 6 months of the financial year end respectively. Failure to comply is considered an offence and can lead to prosecution of the director(s);
    10. As per Section 344(1) of the Companies Act, the Singapore Government can legally strike off (click link) businesses which fail to comply in fulfilling their annual accounting, tax and statutory obligations. See this Government link for a list of all companies deregistered in September 2018;
    11. As per Section 155A of the Companies Act, a person who is director of 3 or more companies that have been struck off by ACRA within a 5 year period, will be barred from being director or take part in the management of any local or foreign company for five years. The person can also be levied with i) fines, ii) interdiction from entering Singapore and iii) jail time;
    12. In accordance to Singapore Budget 2018, the GST rate is to be raised from 7% to 9% periodically between 2021 and 2025.

    Singapore tax reporting obligations

  • Singapore company tax exemption package

    • A properly structured Singapore company can be legally tax exempt if certain criteria are met;
    • Press this tab to view a sample draft invoice for our standard Singapore offshore package.
      View PDF
  • Compare different Singapore entities

    NoQuestionTax resident LLCOffshore companyNon-resident taxable LLC
    1Must pay Singaporean corporation tax of 17%?YesNoYes
    2Corporate bank account locationIn SingaporeOutside SingaporeIn Singapore
    3Management and control of entityIn SingaporeOutside SingaporeOutside Singapore
    4Practical exampleHealy Consultants Singapore Pte LtdA US-based Client owns a Singapore LLC and Hong Kong bank accountA US-based Client owns a Singapore LLC and DBS Singapore bank account
    5Annual net profits tax exemption bracketThe first SG$125,000 of annual net profits are tax free for first 3 years. Anything over this SG$ amount is taxed at 17%Legally tax exempt on all profitsThe first SG$102,500 of annual net profits are tax free. Anything over this SG$ amount is taxed at 17%
    6Access to double tax treaties?YesNoNo
    7Can obtain a tax resident certificate?YesNoNo
    8Can open a Singapore merchant account?YesNoYes
    9Access to Government grants and incentives?YesNoNo
    10An excellent holding company of global subsidiaries?YesNoNo
    11Can have a virtual office with call answered from Singapore?YesYesYes
    12Can hire staff in Singapore?YesNoYes


    • A Singapore LLC pays local corporation tax when i) business is done in Singapore or ii) management and control is within Singapore or iii) it has a Singapore corporate bank account.
    • A Singapore LLC is legally tax exempt if i) it has no staff or active directors in Singapore ii) no customers or suppliers in Singapore iii) no Singapore corporate bank account. This is known as a Singapore offshore company.
    • Usually, IRAS will only classify a company as tax resident and supply it with a tax residency certificate if the business can demonstrate that it is controlled and managed in Singapore. For example, Healy Consultants Group PLC Singaporean companies. However, merely i) appointing nominee Singaporean directors or ii) having a local virtual office is not sufficient to be a tax-resident business.
    • An offshore Singapore LLC will pay Singapore corporation tax if i) sales closed with Singaporean customers or ii) overseas sales are banked to a Singapore bank account. Also known as non-resident LLC.
    • On a separate note, a statutory audit of the financial statement of a Singapore company is required if such business exceeds at least two of the following thresholds: i) annual sales over SG$10 million ii) assets over SG$10 million iii) more than 50 employees. In case a company has corporate shareholders or subsidiaries, these thresholds apply at the Group level, not only at the entity level.
    • For a taxable Singaporean LLC, overseas income is legally tax exempt if not remitted to a Singapore multi-currency corporate bank account.
    • Sales received through a Singapore merchant account is legally tax exempt if those funds are transferred to an overseas corporate bank account, and not remitted to a Singapore multi-currency corporate bank account or used to settle liabilities in Singapore.
  • Healy Consultants Group PLC fees for accounting and tax support

    Singapore accounting and tax taskUS$
    Singapore active company unaudited annual tax and accounting2,300
    Singapore dormant company unaudited annual tax and accounting950
    Singapore active company audited annual tax and accounting *5,950
    Singapore annual personal tax return1,950
    Singapore company residence certificate950
    IRAS written confirmation of legal tax exemption1,500
    Average monthly bookkeeping services550
    Quarterly GST reporting services (active entity)950
    Quarterly GST reporting services (dormant entity)450

    Note: * For an active trading company, these accounting, audit and tax fees are an estimate of Healy Consultants Group PLC fees to efficiently and effectively discharge your annual company accounting and tax obligations. Following receipt of a set of draft accounting numbers from your company, Healy Consultants Group PLC will more accurately advise accounting and tax fees

  • Monthly bookkeeping service

    Healy Consultants Group PLC’s monthly book keeping fee of US$550 includes i) receiving monthly invoices from our Client ii) labelling monthly bank statement transactions iii) preparation of a monthly income and expenses statements iv) highlighting anomalies and v) monitoring monthly profit levels to minimise annual tax.

  • Maintaining accounting, secretarial and corporate structure data

    • Entities should maintain proper books of accounts and also record all invoices and receipts for their company expenses and income. The same can be required at any time by the Singapore authorities;
    • Entities should also maintain the secretarial records such as board resolutions and meeting minutes of all the important management decisions taken by the Directors;
    • Under Singapore legal system for business, the information related to the corporate structure such as shareholders, directors, shares and secretaries is centralized by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority’s bizfile system. However, any change in the corporate structure of the entity must be immediately notified to secretary of the entity for updating of the ACRA records.
  • Amendment in tax return

    In the unlikely case of a tax filing mistake, a company’s management is required to file notice using the Voluntary Disclosure Programme (VDP). The notice should be submitted as soon as the mistake is identified. Timely action will significantly help reduce potential penalties and the IRAS officer’s treatment of your case.
  • Estimated chargeable income (ECI) filing

    • Starting from the Year of Assessment 2020, all companies are required to file Estimated Chargeable Income within three months of the financial year end. For more details about exemptions, refer to this website.
    • The Singapore government does not impose any late filing penalties assuming the tax return (Form C, Form CS or Form CS Lite) has been done on time.
  • Click here to calculate your Singapore corporate tax

    Fill in the form below and see the total tax your company may have to pay and the effective tax rate:

    1. Does your company fulfil all these requirements?
    • Your company is incorporated in Singapore
    • Your company is tax resident in Singapore
    1. When was your company incorporated?
    • Incorporated date:
    Before 2012
    1 January 2012 - 25 February 2013
    After 25 February 2013
    1. Does your company fall under these categories?
    • Investment holding
    • Property development
    1. Enter your estimated net profit:
    Chargeable income (before exempt amount)$ 0.00
    Less: exempt amount$ 0.00
    Chargeable income (after exempt amount)$ 0.00
    Tax payable @ 17%$ 0.00
    Less: Corporate income tax (CIT) rebate$ 0.00
    Net tax payable$ 0.00
    Effective tax rate0.00 %
  • Frequently asked questions

    • When are financial statements prepared and submitted to ACRA?

      All Singapore companies, except solvent Exempt Private Companies (EPC) must file financial statements with ACRA.

      An EPC is a Singapore company which has i) less than 20 shareholders and ii) none of the shareholders is a corporate entity.

    • When are financial statements prepared and submitted to IRAS?

      All companies must submit financial statements to IRAS if they meet the following criteria: i) annual revenue higher than SG$5 million ii) claiming carry-back of capital allowances/losses iii) applying for group relief iv) applying for investment allowance and v) claiming a foreign tax credit.
    • When must a company submit a corporation tax return to IRAS?

      All Singapore companies must a corporate tax return for the financial year by i) 30th November of the following year (paper filing) or ii) 15th December of the following year (e-filing).
    • When are consolidated financial statements required?

      If a Singapore company is the ultimate holding company for one or more entities (subsidiaries), it must prepare consolidated financial statements (See SFRS 110).
    • When is independent statutory annual audit required?

      If a Singapore company meets 2 out of the following 3 requirements for two consecutive financial years: i) revenue > SG$10 million ii) assets > SG$ 10 million or iii) employees > 50, then audit is required.
    • When are audited consolidated financial statements required?

      If a Singapore company must prepare consolidated financial statements and the Group consolidated financial statements meet the audit requirements mentioned in the question above, then audited consolidated financial statements are required.
    • When are financial statements not required to be prepared and not submitted to ACRA?

      Under Section 201 of the Companies Act, all Singapore companies must prepare financial statements, no exceptions. However, if the company is a solvent EPC (see question 1), it may not submit the financial statements to ACRA.
    • When are financial statements not required to be prepared and not submitted to IRAS?

      All Singapore companies must prepare financial statements annually. However, if the company does not meet any of the 5 requirements mentioned in question 2, it is not required to submit the financial statements to IRAS. In such a case, it will only need to file Form C-S.
    • When are consolidated financial statements not required?

      A Singapore parent company need not prepare consolidated financial statements if it meets all the following conditions:

      • It is a wholly-owned subsidiary or a partially-owned subsidiary of another entity;
      • Its debt or equity instruments are not traded in a public market;
      • It has never been required to file financial statements with a regulatory authority for issuing financial instruments in a public market; and
      • Its ultimate or any intermediate holding company produces financial statements available for public use that comply with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
    • When is an independent statutory annual audit not required?

      An independent statutory annual audit is not required if a Singapore company does not meet 2 out of the following 3 requirements for two consecutive financial years: i) revenue > SG$10 million ii) assets > SG$ 10 million or iii) employees > 50, then audit is required.
    • When are audited consolidated financial statements not required?

      Audited consolidated statements are not required if a Singapore parent company meets all the requirements detailed in question 9 and 10.
    • For a Singapore holding company, when are entity level financial statements required to be submitted to ACRA and IRAS?

      ACRA and IRAS guidelines do not differentiate between a normal company or holding company. Consequently, a Singapore holding company must submit financial statements to ACRA and IRAS if it meets all the requirements in question 1 and 2.
    • What is the benefit to have a holding company?

      A holding company may enjoy the following benefits:

      • Receive withholding tax on dividends, if DTAA is signed;
      • Legally minimize international tax on other passive income including royalties and IP;
      • Reduce risk exposure to assets of the existing company;
      • Conduit to raise capital and transfer it to the existing business;
      • Prepare for an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

      For further details, please refer to our detailed holding company webpage.

    • How long must companies keep their financial and accounting and tax records?

      According to local legislation a company should maintain proper records for a minimum of five calendar years, and must be able to provide necessary information to government authorities upon request.
    • Are there any due dates to object to the IRAS tax assessment?

      Following receipt of Notice of Assessment from IRAS, the company’s management has two months to raise an objection. The assessment will be considered final if no objection is received during this period.
    • What is the best way to contact IRAS?

      IRAS has a live chat function on its website, operational Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm, Singapore time. Live chat is a much faster way to communicate with an IRAS officer than calling or e-mailing general enquiries, and you are likely to get an instant response.
  • Useful links

  • External readings

It is important for our Clients to be aware of their personal and corporate tax obligations in their country of residence and domicile to fulfill those obligations annually. Let us know if you need Healy Consultants Group PLC’s help to clarify your annual reporting obligations.

Contact us

For additional information on our accounting and legal services in Singapore, please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Simon Guidecoq, directly:
client relationship officer - Simon
singapore business federation Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Institute of Singapore chartered accountant (ISCA) Institute of Singapore chartered accountant (ISCA) saicsa icsa - institute of chartered secretaries and administrators SIngapore exchange ltd - The Asian Gateway | SGX