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In this page: Accounting Rules | Tax Rates | Intellectual Property | Legal Framework | Standards | Business Practices

 

Accounting Rules

Tax Year
The fiscal year begins on December 1st and ends on December 31st of the next year.
Accounting Standards
Singaporean accounting rules aim at giving a clear vision of the financial situation of the company. Singapore is an international financial place and thus needs to have accounting standards acceptable to the international financial community. Accounting Standards Council of Singapore (ASC) develops, review, amend and approve accounting standards for use by companies, charities, co-operative societies and societies.
Accounting Regulation Bodies
ICRA
Accounting Reports
Income Tax Returns (Form C), Profit and Loss Statements, and Balance sheet.
Publication Requirements
Each company has to produce a profit and loss account and a financial balance sheet.
Professional Accountancy Bodies
Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore
Certification and Auditing
Companies have to seek a statutory auditor to conduct an annual audit of the financial health of their organization. You can consult the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).
Accounting News
Singapore News
Singaporenews .wordpress.com
Accounting Standards in Singapore

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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
GST (Goods and Services Tax)
Tax Rate
7%
Reduced Tax Rate
VAT exemptions on goods for export and international services.
Other Consumption Taxes
Visit the site of Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.

Learn more about Service Providers in Singapore on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
17%
Tax Rate For Foreign Companies
There is no tax differential between business carried on in Singapore by residents and by non-residents. Tax is imposed on all income accrued in or derived from Singapore , and all foreign income remitted into Singapore.
Capital Gains Taxation
There is no capital gains tax in Singapore .
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Interest on loans, rent paid on land and buildings, royalty payments, expenses for repairing plant and equipment, defaulted trade receivables, contributions to an approved pension fund or the Central Provident Fund, contributions to employee medical benefit plans up to 1% of total payroll expense, double-tax deductions for approved relocation and recruitment expenses when hiring foreign talent, research and development expenses, cost of building modifications for disabled employees of up to SGD 100,000.

Investment in six Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) can attract up to 400% tax deduction.

Other Corporate Taxes
Visit the site of Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.
Other Domestic Resources
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the taxes and mandatory contributions.
 

Country Comparison For Corporate Taxation

  Singapore East Asia & Pacific United States Germany
Number of Payments of Taxes per Year 5.0 25.0 11.0 9.0
Time Taken For Administrative Formalities (Hours) 82.0 209.0 175.0 207.0
Total Share of Taxes (% of Profit) 27.6 34.5 46.7 46.8

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

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Individual Taxes

Tax Rate

Individual Tax Rate Progressive rate from 0% to 20%.
Up to SGD 20,000 0%
From SGD 20,001 to 30,000 2%
From SGD 30,001 to 40,000 3,5%
From SGD 40,001 to 80,000 7%
From SGD 80,001 to 120,000 11.5%
From SGD 120,001 to 160,000 15%
From SGD 160,001 to 200,000 17%
From SGD 200.001 to 320,000 18%
Over 320,001 20%
For more information Access the tax calculator.
Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Visit :Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.
Special Expatriate Tax Regime
To attract global talent to Singapore and to encourage companies to use Singapore as their base for regional activities, the Not Ordinarily Resident (NOR) Taxpayer Scheme took effect in 2003. To qualify for the NOR scheme, an individual must be tax resident in the current year of assessment and must not have been tax residents in the three years of assessment immediately before that year of assessment. Individuals meeting criterion are granted NOR status for five consecutive assessment years, starting from the assessment year in which they first meet the criterion.

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Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
See the list of treaties signed by Singapore
See the list of treaties signed by Singapore
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 0, Interest: 15%, Royalties: 10%

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Sources of Fiscal Information

Tax Authorities
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
Other Domestic Resources
Corporate Tax system presented Ministry of Finance Singapore
Individual Tax system presented by Ministry of Finance Singapore
Tax Academy of Singapore

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Learn more about Taxes and Accounting in Singapore on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

Intellectual Property

National Organizations
The organization responsible for the protection of intellectual property in Singapore is the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).
Regional Organizations

APEC Intellectual Property Rights Experts Group

Association of South East Asian Nations -ASEAN

International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
 

National Regulation and International Agreements

 
Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Patent
 

Patents Act, 1995

Visit: Intellectual Property Office of Singapore

20 years (renewable)
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Trademark
 

Trade Marks Act, 2005 (revised)

Visit: Intellectual Property Office of Singapore

10 years (renewable) Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
Design
 
Registered Designs Act, 2000. Visit: Intellectual Property Office of Singapore

5 years ( renewable after every 5 years up to a maximum of 15 years)  
Copyright
 

Copyright Act, 2005

 

The duration varies depending on the nature of work. Visit: Intellectual Property Office of Singapore.

Berne convention For the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
Industrial Models
 
Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits Act, 1999

Visit: Intellectual Property Office of Singapore

15 years (maximum from the date of creation)  

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Legal Framework

Independence of Justice
The Judiciary power is not completely independent. It is badly influenced by political pressures.
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Foreigners can largely expect an impartial trial from the country's judicial system, especially in matters related to business.
The Language of Justice
English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil.
Recourse to an Interpreter
English is a widely used language and hence an interpreter is not usually required.
Sources of the Law and Legal Similarities
The Constitution of 1959, amended in 1965. The country's legal system is based on English common law. Singapore has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
Checking National Laws Online
Law in Singapore
LawNet2

Learn more about Lawyers and Legal in Singapore on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Standards

National Standards Organizations
Singapore Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board (SPRING SG)
Integration in the International Standards Network
SPRING represents Singapore in regional and international standards activities. Singapore is a member of :
International Standard organization (ISO)
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
(APEC) Sub-Committee on Standards & Conformance (SCSC)
ASEAN Consultative Committee for Standards & Quality
(ACCSQ)
Pacific Area Standards Congress
(PASC)
International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Classification of Standards
Visit: The SPRING Singapore: Standardization Division, operated by SPRING Singapore .
Online Consultation of Standards
Refer to ‘e-services' provided by SPRING Singapore .
Certification Organizations
Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC)

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Business Practices

General Information
Kwintessential website
Executiveplanet website
U.S. Commercial Service
Doing Business
Opening Hours and Days
From 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. , Monday-Friday. Government of Singapore agencies and many private sector companies are closed for business on Saturday.

Shops are normally open every day from 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

 

Public Holidays

New Year's Day 1 January
Chinese New Year February
Good Friday March - April
Labour Day 1 May
Vesak Day May
National Day 9 August
Hari Raya Puasa October - November
Deepavali October - November
Hari Raya Haji November - December
Christmas Day 25 December
 
Holiday Compensation
When a public holiday falls on a Saturday, schools close on the following Monday to compensate. However companies generally remain open for business.
 

Periods When Companies Usually Close

New Year 1-2 days on 31st Dec and 1st Jan
Chinese New Year 2 days of public holiday (dates based on Chinese Lunar Calendar)
 

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Last Updates: November 2014