Until the day we receive social media notifications for filing deadlines alongside those for our friends’ birthdays, keeping a tax calendar is arguably the best way to go.
The Singapore income tax period varies according to the kind of tax payer you are—whether you’re an individual or a corporation—and each kind comes with dates you would do well to highlight on your calendar.
To make sure you never miss a filing or payment deadline, let’s take a look at the dates you’ll need to save.
The Individual Tax Calendar
If you’re a resident or a non-resident working in Singapore, then you’ll have to pay taxes.
The Singapore tax system offers individual taxpayers two ways to file—you can either send in hard copies through snail mail or file online. E-filing is highly recommended and can save you a lot of trouble.
This year’s deadlines for individual or personal income tax filing are
- 15 April 2019 : hard copy or snail mail
- 18 April 2019: e-filing or online
The good news is that you can actually apply to the IRAS for an extension for your filing date, but you’ll have to do this before 31 March.
The Corporate Tax Calendar
Not as straightforward as the individual tax calendar, the corporate tax calendar has a lot more dates for companies to keep sacred.
The basis of taxation in Singapore for corporations is the net income from their revenue generated by their business activities during the financial year in question.
Your company’s tax calendar will depend on three things:
- Corporate Income Tax
- Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI)
- Goods and Services Tax (GST)
The deadline for the Corporate Income Tax is the same for all companies:
- 30 November: hard copy or snail mail
- 15 December: e-filing or online (for Form C-S only)
The forms you use when you file your Corporate Income Tax depend on the type of company you have.
If you have a small company, you will have to file Form C-S. Your company is considered small if it was incorporated in Singapore, has an annual revenue of SGD5 million or less, and has a corporate tax rate of 17%. You’ll have to submit the required tax and financial details together with this form.
If your company doesn’t qualify as a small one, you’ll have to file a Form C which, in addition to the tax and financial details that come with a C-S, includes audited or unaudited financial reports, tax computations and other supporting documents.
Now, let’s take a look at the ECI.
The Corporate Income Tax deadlines may be the same for all companies, but the deadlines for filing your ECI and GST depend on your company alone.
In determining the deadline for filing your ECI, you’ll have to identify your company’s Financial Year End (FYE), which doesn’t have to be 31 December.
Most companies usually count 11 months from the date they were incorporated and choose the last day of that month as their FYE. So if your company was incorporated on 1 June 2019, your FYE would most likely be 31 May 2020.
The deadline for filing your ECI is within three months from your FYE. To continue our example of an FYE of 31 May 2020, the ECI deadline would be 31 August.
While it’s really up to you to fix the date of your FYE, there are regulations in place that keep company owners from changing their FYE around at random. These rules include notifying the Registrar of their FYE as soon as you’re incorporated, and applying for approval from the Registrar for a change of FYE.
Approval is required if changing your FYE will cause your Financial Year to last longer than 7 months, which is the maximum duration for any company’s Financial Year. You’ll also need the Registrar’s approval if you’ve changed your FYE in the past five years, especially since companies are only allowed to change the FYE of their current and preceding Financial Year.
You’ll have to make sure that your company hasn’t missed any statutory deadlines, which include submitting your financial statements, filing your annual return, and holding your Annual General Meeting or AGM.
If you need advice for the best time for holding your AGM to have more time for readying your financial statements and maximising your accounting periods, ask an accounting services provider who is well-versed in corporate secretarial services.
Finally, let’s take a look at GST.
Taxation laws in Singapore state that only GST-registered companies have to pay GST (and you can only register for GST if you meet the following requirements).
Unlike ECI, which you only have to pay once every year, GST is due every quarter, and the deadline depends on whether or not you use giro or automatic bank transfer to pay.
For companies that use giro, there are separate deadlines for filing and payment:
- 30 April (filing) & 15 May (payment)
- 31 July (filing) & 15 August (payment)
- 31 October (filing) & 15 November (payment)
- 31 January (filing) & 15 February (payment)
For companies that don’t use giro, there’s only one deadline for both filing and payment every quarter:
- 30 April
- 31 July
- 31 October
- 31 January
If your company doesn’t use giro and you’re considering a plan to use it, you have to make sure you have enough funds in your account whenever the payment deadlines roll round.
Applying for a deadline extension is also possible for GST, but you can only get an extension of two weeks at most, and you’ll have to submit your application to ACRA before each deadline.
Take note, however, that it will be up to the IRAS to decide whether you get an extension or not, and their decision will usually be based on the documents you provide to support your reason for an extension request.
One last thing: Double Taxation Deadlines
Now, if you have income from outside of Singapore (whether you’re an individual or a company), you’ll want to remember the deadlines for double taxation. You see, Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements or DTA, make it so that your income won’t be taxed twice (once in Singapore, and once again in the source country of the income).
To take advantage of the tax relief offered by DTA, eligible non-Singapore residents need to submit their Certificate of Residence or COR to the IRAS by 31 March of the following year. If you’re filing a claim for 2019, for instance, you’ll need to submit your COR by 31 March 2020.
You’ll have three months from the filing date of a withholding tax record to file a claim online if you’re filing the claim for preceding years. If, for example, you’ve filed a claim on 31 August 2019 for a payment between 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2019, you’ll need to give IRAS your 2018 and 2019 CORs by 30 November 2019 and 11 March 2020.
Again, take note that your double taxation claim might be withdrawn if you turn in your COR on the deadline itself, and that you might even have to pay late payment penalties.
That’s a lot of dates to keep straight, and it can be tough keeping tabs on your tax calendar while taking care of business at the same time. It might be a good idea to get help, or to outsource your tax filing and preparation altogether.
Talk to us at U Ventures today and let’s find the best tax filing solutions for your business, together.