Solidarity Budget 2020 aimed at helping Singapore amid uncertainty

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Singapore Government has implemented various measures to assist the enterprises in Singapore as well as providing for individuals impacted in the following budgets:

Solidarity Budget

In view of the extended COVID-19 chain of transmission, the Singapore government has implemented a set of safety measures taking effect from 7 April 2020 to 4 May 2020 which includes the closure of non-essential workplace and restricted interaction.

To help businesses and individuals cope with the safety measures implemented, the Singapore government has mobilised an addition S$5.1 billion to cover the 3 main categories:

  • Enhance Protection for jobs and livelihoods
  • Strengthen Support for firms and workers
  • Provide More Help to Singaporeans

Enhance Protection for jobs and livelihoods

Enhancing Jobs Support Scheme (“JSS”)

  • Singapore Government will pay 75% on the first S$4,600 of monthly salaries for every local employee for the month of April 2020
  • For May 2020 onwards, wage support levels will revert to original levels as indicated in the Resilience Budget (75% for aviation and tourism sectors, 50% for F&B sectors and 25% for all other sectors)
  • First JSS payout will be brought forward to April 2020 from May 2020

SEP Income Relief Scheme (SIRS)

  • As announced earlier in the resilience budget, eligible Singaporean SEPs will receive S$1,000 a month, for 9 months.
  • In view of the payout, eligible Singaporean SEPs will receive 3 quarterly cash payouts of S$3,000 each in May, July and October 2020.
  • Under the announcements under the Solidarity Budget, the scope has been extended so that more SEPs will qualify for SIRS: 
    • Automatic inclusion for SEPs who also earn a small income from employment work
    • Enhanced Annual Value of property criterion of S$21,000, up from S$13,000 previously
  • Other criteria remain unchanged.

Strengthen Support for firms and workers

Cash Flow and Credit Support of Employers

  • Waiver of monthly Foreign Worker Levy (“FWL”) due in April 2020 to help firms cope with cash flow
  • FWL rebate of S$750 in April 2020 from levies paid this year, for each Work Permit or S Pass holder
  • Laws to ensure property owners pass on Property Tax rebates to tenants. Such rebates will typically work out to slightly more than one month of rent.
    • A bill will be passed to ensure property owners pass on the Property Tax Rebate in full, to tenants.
  • 1-month rental waiver for office, industrial, and agriculture tenants of Government agencies
  • Government’s risk share raised from 80% to 90% for Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (to S$ 5 million), for EFS Loan (to S$ 10 million) and EFS-SME Working Capital Loan (To S$ 600,000) 
    •  Applies to loans initiated from 8 April 2020 till 31 March 2021.

 Cash Payments for Singaporeans

  • Additional cash payout of S$300 for all Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2020 in addition to the cash payouts of S$300, S$600 or S$900 (as confirmed in the Resilience Budget) depending on the Assessable income of each individual (and properties owned) from enhanced Care & Support Package
  • Other payments from Resilience Budget will remain and be paid out in June 2020.

Additional Tax Measures

  • Income Tax for Individuals (including sole proprietors and partnerships)Extended Filing Deadline to 31 May 2020 from 18 April 2020.
  • Income Tax for Trusts Clubs and Associations : Extended Filing Deadline to 30 June 2020 from 15 April 2020.
  • Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) for companies with Financial Year ending Jan 2020 Extended Filing Deadline to 30 June 2020 from 15 April 2020.
  • GST Returns for accounting period ending Mar 2020 : Extended Filing Deadline to 11 May 2020 from 30 April 2020.
  • Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) for companies with Financial Year ending Feb 2020  Extended Filing Deadline to 30 June 2020 from 31 May 2020.
  • Tax Clearances for foreign employees due in May 2020: Extended Filing Deadline by 30 June 2020.
  • S45 Withholding Tax Forms due in Apr 2020 Extended Filing Deadline to 15 May 2020 from 15 April 2020.
  • Tax Clearances for foreign employee in April 2020: Extended Filing Deadline by 30 June 2020.
  • Additional guidance has been included in respect for Companies / Individuals in view of the COVID-19 outbreak
    • Companies: 
      • The determination of the Tax Residence Status of a Company for the YA 2021
      • Permanent Establishment exposure of foreign companies due to employees remaining in Singapore due to travel restrictions. 
    • Individuals
      • Determination of employment income by Singaporeans / Singapore Permanent Residents exercising overseas employment and are now working remotely from Singapore for that employment due to COVID-19.
      • Non-resident foreigners exercising overseas employment who are on short-term business assignment in Singapore and are unable to leave due to COVID-19.

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