Friday, September 28, 2018

S'pore’s tax revenue boosted by higher stamp duty and corporate income tax collections


27 SEPTEMBER, 2018


SINGAPORE — The taxman collected S$50.2 billion in revenue for the financial year of 2017 and 2018 (FY2017/18), a 6.8 per cent increase from the previous year, said the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras).

In a press statement on Wednesday (Sept 26), the authority said the increase was attributed mainly to higher stamp duty collection as more properties were being transacted, as well as growing corporate income taxes due to improved corporate earnings.

Stamp duty collection for FY 2017/18 increased by almost 50 per cent to S$4.9 billion from the previous financial year.

Meanwhile, corporate income tax collection went up from S$13.6 billion to S$15 billion in the same period.

Corporate income tax alone accounts for 30 per cent of Iras’ collection, while stamp duty makes up 10 per cent.

In its statement, Iras said the increase in tax revenue came on the back of a better-than-expected economic expansion of 3.6 per cent last year.

“Tax revenue collected supported funding of key Government programmes to build an innovative and connected economy, a quality living environment and a caring and inclusive society,” it added.

The total tax revenue collected in FY2017/2018 represents 66.2 per cent of the Government’s operating revenue, and 11.1 per cent of Singapore’s gross domestic product.

Total income tax, which includes individual income tax and withholding tax, made up 54 per cent of the taxman’s revenue. It raked in S$27.2 billion from this source — 6.3 per cent higher than the previous financial year.

[If Corporate income tax collected is $13.6b, then Personal Income Tax collected would be $27.2b - $13.6b = $13.6b, but less withholding tax, for which no figures have been provided.]
Goods and services tax, which account for 22 per cent of total tax revenue, came in at S$11 billion.
Taxes collected from the casinos and private lotteries stood at S$2.7 billion, unchanged from the previous financial year.

Iras, which marked its 25th anniversary as a statutory board last year, has embarked on a series of initiatives to improve taxpayers’ experiences.

Its commissioner Ng Wai Choong said on Wednesday that the authority has quickened its pace of transformation.

“Taxpayers benefited from more digital initiatives that provided greater convenience, and made filing, payment, and compliance easier. Online tools such as a Virtual Assistant and an interactive start-up kit for new companies, provide quick answers to taxpayers,” he said.

“We will continue to engage stakeholders to improve tax services.”

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