Singapore

Tax and financial measures associated with COVID-19

20 April 2020

Companies and Businesses

Stabilising Businesses

Helping with Cash Flow & Costs

  • Deferment of Income Tax Payments
    • Automatically defer income tax payments for 3 months, for companies and self-employed persons (SEPs)
      • Companies: Deferment of payments due in April to June 2020
      • SEPs: Deferment for payments due in May to July 2020
    • Freeze all Government Fees & Charges
      • Freeze all government fees and charges for 1 year, from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021
    • Enhanced Property Tax Rebate for 2020
      • 100% rebate for qualifying commercial properties1
      • 60% rebate for the Integrated Resorts
      • 30% for other non-residential properties

1Includes hotels, serviced apartments, tourist attractions, shops and restaurants

  • Enhanced Rental Waivers
    • 3 months’ rental waiver for hawkers
    • Up to 2 months’ rental waiver for commercial and other non-residential tenants in government properties
  • Cash Flow & Credit Support for Employers
    • Waiver of monthly Foreign Worker Levy (FWL) due in April 2020 to help firms with cash flow
    • FWL rebate of $750 in April 2020 from levies paid this year, for each Work Permit or S Pass holder
    • Laws to ensure property owners pass on Property Tax rebate to tenants
    • 1-month rental waiver for office, commercial, and agriculture tenants of Government agencies
    • Government’s risk share raised from 80% to 90% for EFS-Trade Loan, EFS-SME Working Capital Loan, and Temporary Bridging Loan Programme
      • Applies to loans initiated from 8 April 2020 till 31 March 2021

Helping with Credit

  • Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS)
    • Maximum loan quantum of EFS-Trade Loan increased from $5m to $10m and Government’s risk-share raised to 80%
    • Maximum loan quantum of EFS-SME Working Capital Loan increased from $0.6m to $1m
  • Loan Insurance Scheme
    • Subsidy for loan insurance premium raised to 80%
  • Temporary Bridging Loan Programme
    • Expanded to cover all sectors and maximum supported loan raised from $1m to $5m

Sector-Based Support

  • Aviation Sector
    • Enhanced Jobs Support Scheme for airlines, airport ground handlers, and airport operator with 75% wage offset, up to monthly wage cap of $4,600
    • $350m to provide cost relief for the sector and maintain a minimum level of connectivity
  • Tourism Sector
    • Enhanced Jobs Support Scheme for hotels, travel agents, tourist attractions, cruise operators, and MICE venue operators with 75% wage offset, up to monthly wage cap of $4,600
    • $90m for tourism recovery
  • Land Transport Sector
    • Enhanced Point-to-Point Support Package
    • Special Relief Fund payments of $300 per vehicle per month extended till September 2020
    • Private Bus Owners
    • 1-year road tax rebate and 6-month waiver of parking charges at government-owned parking facilities
  • Arts & Culture Sector

$55m support package to:

  • Provide additional support to major companies and leading arts groups
  • Enhance the National Arts Council (NAC)’s Capability Development Scheme for the Arts, to deepen skills and support professional development
  • Step up digitalisation efforts

Building Resilience

Strengthening Food Security

  • A Robust, Multi-pronged Strategy
    • Build up national stockpile of essential health supplies
    • Combination of local production, stockpiling, and diversification of import sources
    • Increase buffer stocks of essential food commodities
    • “30 by 30” vision to grow enough food in Singapore to meet 30% of our nutritional needs by 2030

Deepening Capabilities

  • Enhanced Support for Enterprises
    • SME’s Go Digital enhanced to include more digital solutions for business continuity
    • Up to 90% and 80% support under Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) and Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG), respectively
  • Enhanced Training Support
    • Higher course fee subsidies of 90% and up to $10 hourly absentee payroll
    • Extended to companies in Land Transport, and Arts and Culture sectors

Keeping Our Society Going

  • Broader Range of Safe Distancing Measures
    • Help for employers and households implementing mandatory public health measures
  • Stepping Up Good Public Hygiene
    • Boost SG Clean campaign to encourage higher levels of personal and public hygiene
    • Co-funding for businesses undertaking professional cleaning of premises with a confirmed COVID-19 case

Accounting Implications

Impairment/ Write-down Assessment

  • The measurements of estimates made at the end of the reporting period (for instance, impairments assessment of goodwill, expected credit losses of debtors, net realizable value of inventories) should only reflect conditions that existed at the end of the reporting period and exclude subsequent developments that may be a direct or indirect consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Going Concern

  • Entities are required to consider events both before and after the reporting date, up till the date of authorization for the issue of the financial statements.

The management should consider the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the economic conditions of the entity and whether the event has introduced a material uncertainty to the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern. Considerable factors such as the following can be included in their assessment:

  • Significant decline in revenue;
  • Significant erosion of profits due to higher costs or incurrence of unforeseen expenses;
  • Breach of debt covenants consequent to the adverse impact on its financials; and
  • Cash flow issues

Regulatory reliefs

  • Extension of Deadline for Holding Annual General Meetings and Filing Annual Returns
    • 60-day Extension of time granted by ACRA
      • For all listed and non-listed companies whose AGMs are due during the period of 16 April to 31 July 2020.
      • Companies that was previously granted extension within this period will also be given a further 60 days of extension from the last date of extension.
      • AR filing due dates for the period of 1 May to 31 August 2020 for all listed and non-listed companies to be extended for 60 days.
      • ACRA will not impose penalties on both listed and non-listed companies whose AGMs are due during the period 1 April to 15 April 2020 if AGM is held within 60 days of due date.
    • SGX Regco in consultation with ACRA, will give time extensions for listed companies with 31 Mar 2020 financial year-end to hold their AGM by 29 Sep 2020

Individuals

Supporting Workers

Saving Jobs, Supporting Wages

  • Enhanced Jobs Support Scheme (JSS)
  • To help save jobs, Government will pay 75% on the first $4,600 of monthly salaries for every local employee for April 2020
  • From May 2020, wage support levels will revert to original levels in Resilience Budget1
  • First JSS payout will be brought forward to April 2020, from May 2020
  • Enhanced Wage Credit Scheme (WCS)
    • Additional $500m for employees’ wage increases, on top of $600m disbursed in March 20201

1WCS was enhanced in Budget 2020. The March 2020 payout was based on Budget 2019 parameters. A further WCS payout in June 2020 will comprise additional wage credits arising from Budget 2020 enhancements.

Helping Self-Employed Persons (SEPs)

  • SEP Income Relief Scheme (SIRS)
  • More SEPs will qualify for SIRS
    • Automatic inclusion for SEPs who also earn a small income from employment work
    • Enhanced Annual Value of property criterion of $21,000, up from $13,000 previously
  • Eligible SEPs will receive three quarterly cash payouts of $3,000 each in May, July and October 2020
  • SEP Training Support Scheme
    • Extended till end-2020 and set aside $48m for the scheme
    • Enhanced training allowance rate of $10 per hour
    • Sustained support for 200,000 eligible SEPs to make use of downtime to train and upskill

Creating Job Opportunities

  • SGUnited Traineeships
    • Co-fund wage costs of companies offering traineeships to first-time jobseekers
    • Support up to 8,000 traineeships in 2020 across both large and small enterprises
  • SGUnited Jobs Initiative
    • Initiative to create about 10,000 jobs over the next one year

Helping Workers with Less Means

  • COVID-19 Support Grant
    • Cash grant of $800 a month for 3 months for lower- and middle-income Singaporeans who lose their jobs due to COVID-19
    • Grant will tide them over while they find new jobs or go for training
    • Those who need immediate assistance in April 2020 can apply for the Temporary Relief Fund
  • Enhanced Workfare Special Payment
    • Cash payment of $3,000 for Singaporeans who received Workfare payments in 20191

1Original payment was an additional 20% of Workfare payments based on work done in 2019, with a minimum payment of $100.

Supporting Households

 Helping Families with Daily Expenses

  • Cash Payments for Singaporeans
    • Additional cash payout of $300 for all Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2020
    • $300 from enhanced Care & Support – Cash payout will be paid in April 20201

1Enhanced cash amounts of $300, $600 or $900 for all Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2020

Assessable Income for YA20192 Additional + Enhanced Cash Payments Total Cash Payments Payment in April 2020 Payment in June 2020
Not more than $28k $300 + $900 $1,200 $600 $600
Above $28k to $100k $300 + $600 $900 $600 $300
>$100k

or owns more than 1 property

$300 + $300 $600 $600

 2YA: Year of Assessment

  • Other Payments
    • Other payments from Resilience Budget will remain, and will be paid out in June 2020
      • Cash payout for each Singaporean parent with at least 1 Singapore child aged 20 and below in 2020 of $300
      • All Singaporeans aged 50 and above in 2020 will receive their $100 PAssion Card Top-up in cash
      • Total of up to $1,000 in cash for eligible Singaporeans in June 2020

Helping Needy Singaporeans

  • Enhanced Workfare Special Payment
    • Cash payment of $3,000 for Singaporeans who received Workfare payments in 20191

1Original payout was an additional 20% of Workfare payments based on work done in 2019, with a minimum payment of $100.

  • Enhanced Grocery Vouchers
    • Triple current voucher in 2020 to $300 for Singaporeans aged 21 and above living in 1-or 2-room HDB flats
    • $100 Grocery Voucher for 2021
    • Total of $400 in 2020 and 2021

Greater Flexibility on Fees & Loans

  • Freeze all Government Fees & Charges
    • Freeze all government fees and charges for 1 year, from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021
  • Student Loan Relief
    • 1-year suspension of loan repayments and interest charges for Government loan schemes
  • Suspend Late Mortgage Payment Charges
    • All late payment charges on HDB mortgages arrears will be suspended for 3 months

Strengthening Support Networks

More Funding for Community

  • More Community Help for Vulnerable Households
    • Self-Help Groups to receive grants of $20m over two years to enhance support for the community
    • Community Development Councils to receive $75m to address local needs
  • NTUC Care Fund (COVID-19)
    • $25m in joint funding from NTUC, unions, and the Government to help workers and SEPs
    • One-off relief of up to $300 to low-to middle-income union members

Deploy our Strategic Asset

The Two-Key System

  • The Elected President & Our Past Reserves
    • Our reserves are our strategic asset. They serve as our bulwark against extraordinary shocks and crises
    • The Elected President is the custodian of our Past reserves
      • In the Global Financial Crisis of 2008/9, President S.R. Nathan approved a draw of $4.9b for the first time
    • The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis of exceptional nature – the kind for which we have accumulated Past Reserves

Our Bulwark Against Crises

  • Funding Extraordinary Measures for COVID-19
    • The President has given in-principle support to draw on Past Reserves to combat COVID-19
      • Job Support Scheme, Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme, Temporary Bridging Loan Programme, Enterprise Financing Scheme, Aviation Support Package
    • If needed, the Government is prepared to ask the President for a further draw on Past Reserves

Social Security Measures

The government has heightened safe-distancing measures to better control the situation, significantly reducing movements and interactions in public and private places. Such social security measures are:

  • Social distancing of 1m apart
  • Closure of non-essential services during the circuit breaker period (7th April to 4th May)
  • Essential services (such as Health and Social Services; F&B; Transportation and Storage; Banking & Finance etc;) to remain open to support daily needs with safe-distancing in place.
  • Social gatherings are not allowed.
  • Mandatory to put on mask when leaving the house.
  • Schools to switch to Home-Based learning

Failure to comply with these regulations could result in penalties such as a fine, jail or both.

Get in touch

Whatever your question our global team will point you in the right direction

Start the conversation
Get in touch
x
x

Share to:

Copy link:

Copied to clipboard Copy