Public Consultation on Proposed Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 202208 Jun 2022
1. The Ministry of Finance is proposing 23 amendments to the Income Tax Act 1947 (“ITA”). These proposed amendments cover:
a) tax measures announced in the 2022 Budget Statement on 18 February 2022 (eight amendments); and
b) changes arising from our periodic review of Singapore’s tax system to revise existing policies, improve our tax administration, or enhance the clarity of existing legislation (15 amendments).
2. The Ministry is seeking public feedback on the draft Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2022 which provides for these proposed amendments. The draft Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2022 is available for public consultation from 8 June to 6 July 2022.
SCOPE OF THE CONSULTATION
3. The draft Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2022 incorporates 23 proposed legislative amendments to the ITA.
Budget 2022 amendments
4. There are eight proposed amendments to effect measures announced by the Minister for Finance, Mr Lawrence Wong, in the 2022 Budget Statement. We invite you to comment on the drafting of the proposed legislation. Salient amendments include the following:
i. Enhance the progressivity of personal income tax (“PIT”) of tax-resident individual taxpayers, and align the tax rates of non-tax-resident individual taxpayers to the revised top marginal PIT rate for tax-resident individuals. The top marginal PIT rate of tax-resident individuals will be increased from the Year of Assessment (“YA”) 2024. The portion of chargeable income in excess of $500,000 up to $1 million will be taxed at 23%, while that in excess of $1 million will be taxed at 24%; both up from 22% today. The PIT rates for certain income derived by non-tax-residents will also be revised to 24%, to continue to be aligned with the top marginal tax rate of tax-residents.
ii. Facilitate disclosure of company-related information for official duties. To support data-driven policymaking, operations, and integrated service delivery, the following changes to the ITA and Goods and Services Tax Act 1993 (“GSTA”) will be made to facilitate the disclosure of company-related information by IRAS for official duties:
• Where taxpayers have provided consent for their information to be shared, IRAS can disclose such information to a public officer (or any other authorised person outside the public sector who is engaged by the Government or a statutory board) for the performance of his official duties. Currently, this is allowed only for administering any written law or public scheme; and
• IRAS may also disclose a prescribed list of identifiable information on companies to public sector agencies for the performance of official duties, without requiring the taxpayer’s consent. The company-specific information shared will be made less granular by IRAS to preserve the company’s confidentiality. For instance, the prescribed list will include the sales revenue band that an identified company belongs to, but not the exact value of its sales revenue. Such information will not be disclosed to any person outside the public sector, even if the person is engaged by the Government or a statutory board.
Other proposed amendments
5. There are 15 other proposed amendments arising from the periodic review of Singapore’s income tax system. We invite you to comment on the proposed changes, and the drafting of the proposed legislation which will give effect to these policy changes.
6. These proposed amendments include the following:
i. Provide expressly that the Comptroller of Income Tax has the power to extend filing deadlines in the ITA. The proposed amendments provide for the power of the Comptroller of Income Tax to extend the deadlines for the filing of estimates of chargeable and partnership income, and employee income returns. Similar amendments are also proposed to provide for:
• The power of the Chief Assessor to extend the deadline for filing notices of chargeability and transfer of property. These amendments to the Property Tax Act 1960 (“PTA”) will be included as a related amendment in the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2022.
• The power of the Comptroller of GST to extend the deadline for the filing of GST returns. This amendment to the Goods and Services Tax (General) Regulations will be made separately.
ii. Amend the definition of “local employee” under section 37O of the ITA to recognise central hiring and secondment arrangements under the Mergers and Acquisitions (“M&A”) Scheme. The proposed amendment allows individuals hired under central hiring and secondment arrangements to be recognised as employees of the acquiring company for the purpose of fulfilling the three local employee condition under the M&A Scheme. Currently, only individuals that are directly hired by the acquiring company are taken into account for assessing whether the three local employee condition is met to qualify for the M&A Scheme.
iii. Streamline provisions on the Board of Review (“BOR”) and adopt discretionary one-member coram approach for BOR hearings. The proposed amendments update and streamline BOR provisions by removing outdated references; clarifying the powers of the Minister, BOR and Chairperson respectively; and moving provisions on BOR procedures to subsidiary legislation. The proposed amendments also empower BOR Chairpersons to exercise discretion to convene a one-member coram for appropriate BOR cases, on top of the present default three-member coram, for greater efficiency in managing BOR cases.
Similar amendments are also proposed to be made to Part 8 (Board of Review) of the GSTA.
iv. Technical amendments. There are six proposed amendments are technical amendments.
7. The Annexes provide a brief description of the 23 proposed amendments of the ITA. Please refer to the draft Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2022 and its accompanying Explanatory Statement for details.
GUIDELINES FOR SUBMISSION
8. We appreciate your input and participation. Respondents are requested to observe these guidelines:
(a) Please identify yourself and the organisation you represent (if any) so that we can follow up to clarify any comments if needed.
(b) Be clear and concise in your comments, and use the prescribed template provided to organise your feedback.
(c) Focus your comments on how the drafting of the proposed legislative amendments for the tax measures announced at Budget 2022 can be better written to make them clearer and to make compliance easier; or on how the non-Budget changes can be improved including the drafting.
(d) As far as possible, explain your points with illustrations, examples, data or alternative formulations of the amendments.
9. This draft legislation is released only for the purpose of consultation and should not be used for individual or business decisions as it does not represent the final legislation.
10. All comments received during the consultation will be reviewed and if accepted, will be incorporated in the Bill for introduction in Parliament.
PERIOD OF CONSULTATION
11. The draft Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2022 is available for public consultation from 8 June to 6 July 2022. We regret that comments received after 6 July 2022 will not be considered.
12. We request that all interested parties submit your comments using the prescribed template, through email to email@example.com.
SUMMARY OF RESPONSE
13. We will publish a summary of the main comments received on the Ministry of Finance’s website, together with our responses, in August 2022. The identitities of respondents will not be disclosed in the summary.
DOCUMENTS TO DOWNLOAD
14. For reference, please click here to download the relevant documents for this public consultation.
Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2022
- Entire Bill (word)(pdf)
- Clause 1 to 49 (word)(pdf)
- Explanatory Statement (word)(pdf)
Annexes- Annex A: Proposed Amendments Announced in the 2022 Budget Statement (word)(pdf)
- Annex B: Proposed Non-Budget Amendments (word)(pdf)
Prescribed Template for Submission of Comments (excel)
Other useful references:
• You may obtain a copy of the ITA at https://sso.agc.gov.sg.
• For more details on the tax changes, you may refer to the circulars on IRAS’s website.