Singapore Company Posts RecordHigh Tax Collection in 2009 Jacqueline Chia Singapore’s total tax collection has reached a recordhigh of $29.9 billion for fiscal year 2009 despite the massive drop in corporate income tax at the height of the global financial crisis, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) reported on Monday. In its 20092010 annual report, IRAS said that tax collection has reached $29.9 billion or a 0.2 percent increased from the previous year as the country’s population and property market continued to expand, cushioning the impact of corporate losses. The report also showed that the number of individual taxpayers increased by 8.5 percent to 1.042 million while individual income tax collection spiked up by 13 percent to $6.1 billion compared in 2009. IRAS attributed the unprecedented growth in its taxcollection to the increase in employment income in the previous year, which was pegged at 12.5 percent. However, withholding tax collection fell 3.3 percent to $1.1 billion while corporate income tax also dropped 10 percent to $9.6 billion, IRAS reported. The number of estimated millionaires in the citystate also fell by 6 percent to 3,616 in 2009 compared to 3,838 in 2009 as income generation capability of the rich dropped by 12 percent to $7.24 billion. IRAS said that the poor corporate performance stemmed from the 1 percent cut in corporate tax rate to 17 percent in FY 2007, affecting tax collections for FY 20092010. It will be recalled that companies were required to file estimated chargeable income for FY 2010 within a threemonth period after the end of their accounting period in 2009. The revenue agency also noted that the high tax collection rate among individual taxpayers has something to do with the unchanged policy in taxes. The 20 percent income tax rate has not been changed since 2007, while in 2009 there was only a oneoff personal tax rebate of 20 percent, capping collection at $2,000 per taxpayer, the agency added.
Also, goods and services tax and stamp duty collections also contributed to the higher collection rate, registering $6.9 billion or a 7 percent increase in 2009. According to business registration company Rikvin, Singapore’s efficient tax collection has become possible with its corporate laws and policies that promote transparency. While the country has a strict taxation law, it has provided several tax incentives and exemptions to local and foreign companies in an effort to boost the economy and attract more investors from abroad. Rikvin is a business solutions provider which focuses on registration and consultation services to local and foreign entrepreneurs who want to form a Singapore company.