Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has today on the 26th March 2020, in addition to the Unity Budget presented on 18 February 2020, announced an additional set of measures known as Singapore’s Resilience Budget. This supplementary budget is valued at S$48.4 billion. It is intended as a bulwark and provides support measures to taxpayers and citizens against the brutal impact from the global coronavirus outbreak. To fund some of these measures, the government has obtained the President’s in-principle support to draw up to S$17 billion from the country’s past reserves.
We at Mazars understand this crisis, and we have listed the some of the most impactful (tax) measures which are relevant to affected individuals and businesses:
TAX MEASURES FOR BUSINESSES
- Automatic Deferment of Corporate Income Tax (CIT) payments: All companies with CIT payments due in the months of April, May and June 2020 will be granted an automatic three-month deferment of these payments.
- The CIT payments that are deferred from April, May and June 2020 will be collected in July, August and September 2020 respectively.
TAX MEASURES FOR EMPLOYEES
- Apply to Defer Tax Payment (GIRO): You may opt to defer your income tax payments due in May, June and July 2020 if you need help with your tax payments. If you are paying by GIRO, there will be no GIRO deduction in May, June and July 2020. Your income tax deduction will resume in August, September or October 2020 and the end-date of your instalment plan will be extended by three months. Your amount of income tax payable remains the same.
- Apply to Defer Tax Payment (Lump Sum Payment): If you are making a lump sum payment, you may opt to defer your payment by three months. For instance, if your current payment due date is 5 May 2020, you may opt to pay in lump sum by 5 Aug 2020.
- Covid-19 Support Grant: Monthly cash grant of S$800 for three months to individuals who have lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. To receive the grant, applicants must fulfil the eligibility criteria as set out by the Government. The scheme will be open for application from May to September 2020.
TAX MEASURES FOR SELF-EMPLOYED PERSONS
- Automatic Deferment of Income Tax payments (GIRO): Your income tax payments due in May, June and July 2020 will be deferred automatically for three months to August, September and October 2020 respectively. This means that there will be no income tax payments in May, June and July 2020. No application is required.
- Payment Extension for One-Time Payments: For one-time income tax payments due in May, June and July 2020, there will be a three-month deferment to August, September and October 2020 respectively. For example, if the due date is initially 15 May 2020, the extended due date for payment will be 15 August 2020. No application is required.
- Self-Employed Persons Income Relief Scheme (SIRS): Eligible self-employed persons will receive S$1,000 a month, for nine months.
TAX MEASURES FOR PROPERTIES
- Qualifying commercial properties (e.g. hotels, serviced apartments, shops and restaurants, tourist attractions), will receive 100% tax rebate for the year 2020.
- Increased property tax rebate for Integrated Resorts from 10% to 60%.
- All other non-residential properties to receive a new property tax rebate of 30%.
- IRAS will send out the rebate notices by 31 May 2020. Property owners can expect to receive their refunds by 30 June 2020.
JOBS SUPPORT SCHEME (JSS)
- Eligible employers will now receive a 25% cash grant (up from 8%) on the gross monthly wages of each local employee (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents) for the months of October to December 2019, subject to a monthly wage cap of $4,600 per employee.
- Higher tiers of support on top of the base rate of 25% will also be given to businesses in severely-affected sectors. Employers eligible for the additional tiers of support will be informed closer to the date of the first payout (end-May 2020).
- The JSS will also be extended to cover nine months of wages (up from three months), which will be paid in two additional tranches in July 2020 and October 2020.
- Employers do not need to apply for the JSS. The grant will be computed based on CPF contribution data. Employers can expect to receive the first JSS payment from IRAS by 31 May 2020 and subsequent payments in July and October 2020.
WAGE CREDIT SCHEME (WCS)
- The government co-funding ratios for wage increases in 2019 and 2020 will be raised to 20% and 15% respectively. The qualifying gross wage ceiling will also be raised to S$5,000 for both years.
- Additional payout to be brought forward from September to end June 2020. Qualifying employers benefitting from the enhancements for the 2019 wage increases will be notified by end June 2020, and will receive a supplementary payout thereafter.
ENTERPRISE FINANCING SCHEME (EFS)
- To support businesses’ trade financing needs, the loan quantum of EFS-Trade Loan will be increased from S$5 million to $10 million and also the Government’s risk-share will be raised from 70% to 80%.
- To alleviate the cash flow concerns of Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the loan quantum of EFS-SME Working Capital Loan will be increased from S$0.6 million to S$1 million.
SGUNITED JOBS INITIATIVE
Initiative to create about 10,000 jobs over the next one year, with the public sector taking the lead:
- Recruit for long-term roles in the public service and sectoral partner institutions, in areas such as social services, early childhood education, and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to enhance the provision of essential services.
- Offer short-term, temporary jobs to handle the increase in COVID-19-related operations, such as health declaration assistants, temporary management support officers, etc.
ENHANCED RENTAL WAIVERS
- Increased rental waiver from 1 month to 3 months – for stallholders in hawker centres managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators.
- Increased rental waiver from 0.5 months to 2 months, for eligible tenants of Government agencies.
LAND TRANSPORT SECTOR
- Enhanced Point-to-Point Support Package: Special Relief Fund payments of S$300 per vehicle per month extended till September 2020.
- Private Bus Owners: 1-year road tax rebate and 6-month waiver of parking charges at government-owned parking facilities.
- Higher course fee subsidies of 90% and up to S$10 hourly absentee payroll – extended to companies in Land Transport sector.
ARTS AND CULTURE SECTOR
- Higher course fee subsidies of 90% and up to S$10 hourly absentee payroll – extended to companies in Arts and Culture sector.
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, there may be additional measures introduced by the Government from time to time.
We at Mazars are ready to support your business during this critical period. Contact us if you require any advice on how either of these measures may apply to you or support to access these measures available.
Do you have any questions for us?