Tax arrears dropped to a record low of 0.79% of the total net tax assessed. This contributed to the steady decline of total cumulative tax arrears - as at 31 Mar 2013, the total cumulative tax arrears stood at S$374 million, a significant reduction of S$109 million from the S$483 million of the previous Financial Year.
“Our ongoing efforts to promote a high level of voluntary compliance have resulted in more individuals and businesses filing their tax returns and paying taxes on time. On-time filing rates have improved across all tax types, while tax arrears declined to a record low of 0.79%, among the lowest in the world.”
Commissioner of Inland Revenue
Simplifying Processes to Better Serve Businesses
To make it easier for small companies to report corporate income tax, IRAS introduced the simplified Form C-S in 2012. 63% (or 70,400 companies) of the small companies benefitted from this streamlined tax reporting process, cutting the average time taken to file their 2012 tax returns by half.
96% of Companies Benefiting from PIC are SMEs
Beyond raising voluntary tax compliance levels, IRAS played a key role in managing the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme since its introduction in 2010. In 2012, 44,000 companies or 37% of active companies benefited from the PIC scheme, up from 36,400 companies (33% of active companies) in 2011 (Figure 2A, Page 22 of Annual Report). 96% of the companies that claimed PIC in 2011 and 2012 were Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with annual turnover of up to $100 million (Figure 2D, Page 24 of Annual Report).
In 2012, 62% of PIC claims were for the purchase or lease of automation equipment. 35% of PIC claims were for the training of employees while the remaining 3% of PIC claims were for other qualifying activities (Figure 2E, Page 25 of Annual Report).
Convenient, One-Stop Access to Tax Statistics
Highlights of FY2012/13 at a Glance
- IRAS collected S$41.4 billion in tax revenue - a growth of 7.6% over the previous year. (Figure 1A, Page 18 of Annual Report)
- IRAS spent 0.79 cent to collect every dollar of tax.
- Tax arrears declined to a record low of 0.79%, among the lowest in the world.
- Total cumulative tax arrears was S$374 million, a significant reduction of S$109 million (22.5%) from S$483 million of the previous year. (Figure 3E, Page 32 of Annual Report)
- IRAS served more than 3.8 million taxpayers, comprising individuals, property owners and businesses.
- 94% of individuals filed their returns on time, up from 91.6% the previous year. (Figure 3B, Page 31 of Annual Report )
- 81% of companies filed their tax returns on time, same as the previous year. (Figure 3C, Page 31 of Annual Report)
- More than 93% of GST-registered businesses filed their tax returns on time throughout the year. (Figure 3D, Page 32 of Annual Report)
- 99.7% of tax refunds were made within 14 days from the day the credit arose, which exceeded the target of 97.5%.
- We enhanced tax cooperation with 40 jurisdictions, up from 32 last FY, having incorporated the internationally agreed Standard for the exchange of information for tax purposes in Protocols/Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements/Tax Information Exchange Agreement with them.
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
Note: IRAS’ Financial Year 2011/12 is from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012.