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September 25, 2023

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Singapore’s Corporate Tax Rate & System Explained

5 min read

Singapore has a competitive corporate tax system known for its low rates, simplicity, and stability. In this article we provide an overview of Singapore’s corporate tax rate and its tax system in addition to how it the advantages these offer to companies incorporating in Singapore.

Corporate Tax Rate

Singapore’s corporate tax rate is 17%, one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world. Applied to the taxable income of companies and businesses, it is calculated based on the profit or loss of the company for a given year.

The corporate tax rate in Singapore is a flat rate, which means that it applies to all companies and businesses, regardless of their size, industry, or location. There are no progressive tax rates or tax brackets in Singapore.

In addition to the corporate tax rate, companies in Singapore may also be subject to other taxes, such as:

  • Withholding tax: A tax on certain payments made by companies to non-residents. For example, dividends, royalties, and interest payments.
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST): A value-added tax on the supply of goods and services in Singapore, at a rate of 7%.
  • Property tax: A tax on the ownership and use of property in Singapore, based on the annual value of the property.
  • Stamp duty: A tax on certain documents and transactions, such as the sale of property and shares.

Corporate Tax System

Singapore’s corporate tax system is characterized by its simplicity, transparency, and predictability. Important features of Singapore’s tax system include:

  • Laws and regulations: The corporate tax system in Singapore is governed by the Income Tax Act and related regulations and guidelines. These provide the rules and requirements for companies and businesses to calculate and pay their taxes.
  • Filing and payment requirements: Companies in Singapore are required to file their tax returns and pay their taxes by the specified due date. This is usually within three months of the end of the financial year. Companies can file their returns and make payments electronically, using the e-Filing and e-Payment systems of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).
  • Assessments and appeals: The IRAS is responsible for assessing the tax returns and payments of companies in Singapore and issuing tax notices or assessments as needed. Companies have the right to appeal their tax assessments if they disagree with the IRAS’s decision or calculations.

Advantages of Singapore’s Tax System

  • Low rate: 17% is one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world and it is lower than the average corporate tax rate of 22.5% in the OECD countries.
  • Flat rate: Singapore’s corporate tax rate applies equally to all companies. It does not discriminate based on size, industry, or location.
  • Simplicity and transparency: Simple, transparent, and easy to understand, Singapore’s corporate tax system has clear laws and guidelines and efficient filing and payment systems.
  • Stability and predictability: Over the years, Singapore’s corporate tax system has had minimal changes and disruptions and a strong commitment to international tax standards and cooperation.

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Final Thoughts

Corporate tax rates just one aspect of a tax system. Before incorporating in Singapore companies should consider other factors, such as personal tax, consumption tax, social security contributions, and exchange rates. Infrastructure, availability of skilled labor, market access, and quality of life are also important factors to take into consideration when choosing a location for a business.

 

Singapore’s competitive corporate tax rate and stable system offer a favorable environment for companies and businesses to operate and grow. A low corporate tax rate, a flat rate across industries, a simple and transparent system, and a stable and predictable environment make it an ideal location for multinational corporations, start-ups, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

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