State Bank of India is the newest addition of banks to join the corporate bank account initiative. More banks joining the initiative means more choices for new business registrants to choose to open their corporate bank account at the point of successful registration of business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) have developed a set of Tripartite Guidelines on the issuance of itemised payslips, as a first step towards supporting this progressive workplace practice. The tripartite partners agree that the provision of itemised payslips to employees is a good employment practice which raises employees' awareness of their salary components. It also facilitates the resolution of salary disputes. MOM's intent is to eventually mandate the issuance of itemised payslips within the next two years.
The Guidelines were formulated after MOM, NTUC and SNEF consulted various stakeholders. Feedback was that many smaller SMEs, especially enterprises such as 'mom and pop' shops and hawkers, find issuing itemised payslips challenging. The Guidelines therefore aim to prepare these businesses to change their practices in a sustainable way, so that they are able to comply when we make it a legal requirement.
The Guidelines set out how companies can put in place the system of administering payslips, and provide payslip templates that companies may use and customise based on their own needs. The payslip should include items such as basic salary, total allowances and total deductions for each salary period, as illustrated in Annex A and B of the Guidelines. MOM is also working with IDA and SPRING to provide by April 2014, tools such as simple payslip booklets, downloadable templates, and funding support for companies to develop customised solutions for the issuance of payslips. SMEs that require assistance can approach any of the SME Centres listed in the Guidelines. NTUC and SNEF will also actively reach out to encourage and assist their members to adopt the guidelines.
Download the guidelines here:
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has issued a tax guidance in response to a Singapore based Bitcoin brokering service Coin Republic.
Sale and purchase of Bitcoins will be subject to taxation on the gains made on the sale of Bitcoins. However, if the Bitcoins form part of a business' investment portfolio, the IRAS will consider the gains from any sale to be capital in nature and not subject to taxation.
For Goods and Services Tax (GST), however, the situation is a little more complicated. Selling Bitcoins in return for goods or services is considered to be subject to GST. If the seller is GST registered, they will need to account for this in the course of their business activities.
The exception to this is in the form of virtual goods, such as in virtual gaming worlds, to use the IRAS' example. These are not subject to GST until they are exchanged for real services or goods.
Bitcoin itself is not considered a good, nor does it qualify as money or currency, according to the IRAS and under Singapore's GST Act. Instead, the supply of Bitcoins is examined under GST and varies according to how the service is provided.
Companies that merely facilitates and is acting as an agent in the Bitcoin trade will have GST chargeable on the commission fees received. However, if the company is acting as a principal in the Bitcoin trade (eg, buys and onward sells Bitcoins to the customer), GST is chargeable on the full amount received, ie, the sale of Bitcoins and commission fees."
Singapore's GST Act already indicates that if the business supplying services belongs to another country, then the entire supply shall be deemed to have been made outside of Singapore. The IRAS states that this would mean that GST would not be imposed.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, will deliver the FY2014 Budget Statement in Parliament on 21 February 2014.
A ''live'' webcast of the delivery of the Budget Statement will be available at the Singapore Budget website (http://www.singaporebudget.gov.sg). The Budget Statement will be uploaded on the Singapore Budget website after the speech has been delivered.
The public can also access information on the Budget on the Budget 2014 Mobile App, which will be released in February. The mobile app allows subscribers to listen and view the Budget Speech ‘live’, while on the move. The mobile app will also feature ‘live’ streaming of the Budget Speech as it is being delivered on 21 February 2014, access to press releases and real-time announcements, video clips, the Budget Quiz and an email subscription for the full Budget Statement.
Those who wish to receive the Budget Statement via email after it has been delivered can visit the Singapore Budget website to subscribe to the Budget Statement mailing list. This free service will be available for subscription from 21 January 2014 till 20 February 2014.
Views and Suggestions on Budget 2014
Members of the public are encouraged to continue sending in their views and suggestions on issues that are relevant to Budget 2014. This exercise will close on 29 January 2014.
Following the delivery of the 2014 Budget Statement, the public can submit their feedback on the Budget initiatives introduced through the following channels:
Astab would like to wish all our clients and readers a happy and prosperous new year! As we step into the new year, we would like to remind all our readers a few of the upcoming compliance changes and the expiry of government grants.
Changes to CPF Contribution Rates Effective 1st January 2014From 1 January 2014, the CPF contribution rates for low-wage workers will be increased to help them save more for retirement. Private sector employees and government non-pensionable employees, including first and second year Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR), who are earning monthly wages of >$50 to <$1,500 will benefit from the changes. The following changes will apply to wages earned from 1 January 2014:
(i) Increase in Employer’s CPF Contribution Rate
The phased-in employer’s CPF contribution rates for all employees aged above 35 years old and earning wages of >$50 to <$1,500 will be increased to the full rates.
There is no change for employees aged 35 years and below and earning wages of >$50 to <$1,500 as the full employer’s CPF contribution rate already applies.
(ii) Increase in Employee’s CPF Contribution Rate
The phased-in employee’s CPF contribution rates for all employees earning wages of >$500 to <$750 will be increased. The phased-in employee's contribution rates for all employees earning wages of >$750 to <$1,500 will be increased to the full rates.
There is no change for employees earning wages of ≤$500 as they are not required to make employee CPF contributions.
You can also visit the CPF Board website for the softcopies of the CPF Contribution Rate Booklets.
Auto-Inclusion Scheme for Employment IncomeFrom Year of Assessment (YA) 2014, employers with 14 or more employees or who have received the "Notice to File Employment Income Of Employees Electronically" are required to participate in the Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS) under S68(2) of the Income Tax Act. Employers who are participating in the AIS for Employment Income can use the e-Submission of Employment Income to submit details of their employees' employment income to IRAS electronically. The submitted income and deduction information will then be automatically included in the employees' income tax assessment. Companies not in the AIS for Employment Income must still provide the hard copy IR8A/IR8S/Appendix 8A/Appendix 8B to their employees.
Expiry of the Productivity and Innovation CreditThe Productivity and Innovation Credit will end in the Year of Assessment (YA) 2015. This means that companies and businesses can claim the cash payout and enhanced deduction in qualifying expenditures up til the end of their financial year ending 2014. However, we hope that IRAS would extend the program to help companies offset the rising cost of business in the current challenging environment.