Public Consultation on Proposed Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Amendment) Bill03 Nov 2023
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) invite the public to provide feedback on the proposed legislative amendments to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore Act 1992 (“IRAS Act”) to assign IRAS with the function to administer broad-based grants to businesses. The proposed changes are set out in the draft IRAS (Amendment) Bill.
Scope of the Consultation Exercise
2. The proposed amendments to the IRAS Act are as follows:
a) Include the function for IRAS to administer Scheduled public schemes for and on behalf of the Government or a statutory body.
As the Centre of Excellence for disbursing broad-based grants to enterprises, IRAS currently supports the administration of enterprise schemes such as the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme, Senior Employment Credit and CPF Transition Offset. During COVID-19, IRAS also supported the administration of the Jobs Support Scheme, Jobs Growth Incentive, Rental Cash Grant and the Rental Support Scheme. The IRAS Act will be amended to formally empower IRAS to perform the function of administering Scheduled public schemes on behalf of the Government or a statutory body.
b) Provide IRAS with information-gathering and enforcement powers for audit and investigation of offences relating to broad-based enterprise grants.
To enable IRAS to conduct an audit or investigation effectively, the IRAS Act will be amended to provide IRAS with the power to collect information from enterprises and individuals, and to investigate potential violations such as misrepresentation of information and fraud.
c) Introduce offences for misrepresentation of information.
IRAS will introduce offences and penalties for misrepresentation of information to deter fraud and abuse, and penalise errant entities or persons for fraud and abuse of enterprise grants.
d) Introduce other administrative amendments.
To enhance the efficacy of IRAS’ grants administration, IRAS will introduce administrative amendments to, inter alia, grant IRAS the power to compound offences under the IRAS Act.
3. For more details, please refer to Annex A.
4. We appreciate your support and participation. Respondents are requested to observe these guidelines:
a. Please identify yourself as well as the organisation you represent (if any) so that we may follow up with you to clarify your comments, if necessary.
b. Be clear and concise in your comments.
c. Focus your comments on how the legislative amendments can be better written to make them cleaner and to make compliance easier; or on how the changes can be improved, including the drafting.
d. Use the prescribed template provided to organise your feedback.
e. As far as possible, please explain your points with illustrations, examples, data or alternative formulations of the proposed amendments.
5. This draft legislation is released only for the purpose of consultation and should therefore not be used for individual or business decisions as it does not represent the final legislation. All comments received during the consultation exercise will be reviewed thoroughly and, if accepted, will be incorporated in the Bill for introduction in Parliament.
Period of Consultation
6. The draft IRAS (Amendment) Bill is available for public consultation from 3 November to 19 November 2023. We regret to inform that comments received after 19 November 2023 will not be considered.
Public Consultation Details
7. The public can access the consultation documents on MOF’s website (www.mof.gov.sg) and the REACH consultation portal (www.reach.gov.sg).
8. We request that all interested parties submit your comments via FormSG at go.gov.sg/iras-bill.
Summary of Response
9. We will publish a summary of the main comments received on the Ministry of Finance’s website, together with our responses, in December 2023. The summary will not disclose the identity of the respondents and will not separately address or acknowledge every comment received. Update: As of 19 Nov 2023, there are no responses to this consultation.
• Annex A: Draft IRAS (Amendment) Bill