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Public Consultation on Draft Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2003

29 May 2003

The Ministry of Finance invites the public to comment on draft amendments to the Income Tax Act (ITA). This is the first time the Ministry is conducting such a consultation exercise. The aim is to obtain feedback on where there can be greater clarity in the way the legislation is drafted, and also on whether the way the legislation is drafted would make compliance difficult. The consultation period is 1 June to 30 June 2003.

2. This consultation exercise on changes to the income tax laws was first announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lee Hsien Loong, in his Budget 2003 Statement. The Budget 2003 tax changes to be legislated include the tax exemption for foreign income in the form of dividends, branch profits and services income, and the tax exemption for interest income derived from standard domestic savings, current and fixed deposits beyond $100,000.

3. In addition to tax changes announced in the Budget 2003 Statement, the draft Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2003 also includes changes to existing tax policies and administration resulting from on-going reviews of the income tax system. One example is the simplification of the payment procedure for withholding tax. With effect from 1 April 2003, a local payer who makes payment to a non-resident whose income is subject to withholding tax is required to pay the withholding tax only by the 15th of the month following the date of payment to the non-resident, instead of within 10 days following the date of payment to the non-resident.

4. The consultation paper, draft Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2003 and accompanying documents will be available at MOF's website at, from 1 June 2003. Respondents may send in their comments via email, fax or post using the prescribed template. The Ministry will not consider comments received after 30 June 2003 so as not to delay the finalisation of the Bill for presentation to Parliament.