Responsibilities of a GST-Registered Business in Singapore

In Singapore, GST registration is compulsory if your company’s taxable turnover exceeds S$1 million for the past 12 months or expects to exceed S$1 million in the next 12 months. A GST-registered business is required to fulfill responsibilities from the effective date of GST registration. Here are the responsibilities that your business needs to fulfil after registering GST.

1. Charge and account for GST on Standard-Rated Supplies

If your business is a GST – registered one in Singapore, your goods and services will be charged for a GST tax rate of 7% which is standard in Singapore. You, on behalf of IRAS, will collect an amount of GST tax based on supplies of goods and services.

However, if you make relevant supplies [i.e. local sales of prescribed goods (mobile phones, memory cards, and off-the-shelf software) exceeding $10,000 in value] that are subject to customer accounting, you must not charge GST to your GST-registered customer. Your GST-registered customer receiving the relevant supply will need to account for the GST (as his output tax) instead.

2. e-File GST Returns and Pay Tax Due

It is statutory to file accurate GST returns and pay the tax due on time.

· Filing GST Returns on time

It is required to submit all GST returns via e-Filing (myTax Portal) within one month from the end of each accounting period, even if there is no transaction in the last accounting period and your business taxable turnover is NIL. Note: both output tax (the GST collected from customers) and input tax (the GST paid to suppliers) are reported to IRAS in the GST returns.

· Penalties for filing late or not filing GST returns

From 1 April 2018 onwards, IRAS may impose a penalty of $200 to late and/ or non-filling of GST returns businesses. However, if the GST F5/F8 return is continued to outstanding for every completed month, IRAS will continue to be imposed a penalty of $200 (up to a maximum of $10,000).

Besides, IRAS may issue an estimated assessment of the tax due and the amount is subject to late payment penalties. The estimated assessment and late payment penalties will only be revised upon receipt of the overdue GST return.

As known, failure to e-File is an offense punishable with a fine up to $5,000 and in default of payment, an imprisonment term up to six months.

· Paying GST Due on time

You must pay GST within one month from the end of each accounting period. It means that you will fill GST returns via e-Filling to IRAS and pay GST at the same period time.

· Penalties for paying late or not paying GST

Late or not payment GST on a due date results in a 5% penalty levied on the amount of tax unpaid by the due date. However, if your business continues to unpaid, IRAS will impose an additional penalty of 2% per month on tax remaining unpaid after 60 days from the due date of the prescribed accounting period. (subject to a maximum of 50% of the outstanding tax)

3. Administrative requirements

Keeping business and accounting Records

You need to keep all business and accounting records for at least five years, even if your business ceased or is deregistered from GST.

Notifying IRAS of Changes

When there are any changes to your business including GST mailing address, business constitution or ownership and partner (s) or particulars of partner (s), it is needed to inform the Comptroller within 30 days after any change.

Displaying prices with GST

Any price displays, advertisements, publications or quotations in respect of goods or services made to the public must be inclusive of GST. If both GST-inclusive and GST-exclusive prices are displayed, the GST-inclusive price must be at least as prominent as the GST-exclusive price. Failure to comply with each of these requirements may result in a fine of up to $5,000.

Issue tax invoices with GST registration number

Tax invoices or customer accounting tax invoices for your standard-rated supplies are required to issue. If the total amount payable for your supply (including GST) does not exceed $1,000, you may issue a simplified tax invoice.

Your GST Registration Number should be reflected on all your tax invoices, simplified tax invoices, and receipts.

Accounting for GST at Point of De-Registration

When your GST registration is cancelled, you need to account for GST on business assets held on the last day of registration if GST was previously claimed on their purchase and the total market value of these business assets is more than $10,000.

These assets include inventories, fixed assets, non-residential properties and goods imported under the various GST schemes.

4. Obligations for Voluntary Registrants

In case you are a voluntary GST registration, you have to:

  1. Use GIRO for payment and refund of GST;
  2. Remain GST-registered for at least two years;
  3. Comply fully with the responsibilities of a GST-registered business;
  4. Make taxable supplies within two yearsif you have not started making taxable supplies at the point of applying for GST registration; and
  5. Any other conditions as may be imposed by IRAS. (Note: the Comptroller may cancel the voluntary GST registration when any of the conditions are not met)

Source: Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)

7 Steps to obtain Employment Pass in Singapore

Employment Pass is one of the most popular work passes which most of the foreign specialists and managers intend to apply when they wish to work in Singapore. It is necessary for you to check whether you are qualified and get well-prepared before applying the Pass. This article provides 7 steps to apply Employment Pass in Singapore with MOM (Ministry of Manpower) who issues work passes and permits in Singapore.

Step 1: Get a job offer in Singapore

You are a foreign specialist from overseas and wish to work in Singapore, which is necessary to apply a work permit for working in Singapore. After you get a job offer in Singapore, a local sponsor or Singaporean employer will usually support you to apply for a work permit in Singapore.

In case you are unable to get a job offer in Singapore, ACE Global Accountant can support you. In fact, you may apply Employment Pass if you are a director or owner of company in Singapore. Hence, we will support you to register a company in Singapore that you are a director. After that, you are qualified to apply Employment Pass, we will assist you in submitting Singapore Employment Pass Application to MOM.  

Step 2: Fulfil criteria for a Singapore Employment Pass Application

  • Work in a managerial, executive or specialised job
  • Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $3,600 (more experienced applicants will be required higher salaries)
  • Have acceptable qualifications, usually a good university degree, professional qualifications or specialised skills

Step 3: Prepare the required documents

  • Copy of passport details 
  • Copies of latest educational certificates/ Academic qualifications
  • Copy of CV
  • Copy of company’s latest business profile or instant information registered with ACRA
  • Verification proof for diploma and above qualifications from Global verification agency, e.g. Dataflow and Risk Management Intelligence (RMI)
  • Additional documents will be asked when you apply for the pass

Note: For non-English documents, the original document and an English translation are needed to submit. 

Step 4: Submit a Singapore Employment Pass Application 

There are two ways to apply for the pass including online and manually. It takes approximately 3 weeks for applying online and 8 weeks for applying manually (It may be longer if the authorities require further background checks). Hence, submitting online is referred to in most cases. 

  • To apply online:
  1. Get a written consent to apply for the Pass from your employer 
  2. Log in to EP Online to fulfill the required documents
  3. Pay fee for application (it can be paid by GIRO, VISA, MasterCard or eNets Debit)
  4. Check your application status after 3 weeks (If additional information is required, it will be longer)
  5. If the pass is approved, log in to EP Online and print the in-principle approval (IPA) letter

The IPA allows you 6 months to stay in Singapore and get the pass issued. 

  • To apply manually:

It is only spent on companies not registered in Singapore. You can submit electronically or at SingPost

Step 5: Get your pass issued

The Employment Pass will be issued within 6 months from in-principle approval. Note that the applicant must stay in Singapore before the pass is issued.

To get the pass issued:

  1. Log in to EP Online to make the request and submit the supporting documents 
  2. Provide a home or office address where you can receive the card
  3. Nominate up to 3 authorised recipients to receive the card, and provide their NRIC, FIN or passport number, mobile numbers and email address
  4. When the pass is issued, print the notification letter

The notification letter allows you to start work in Singapore while waiting for the pass card. 

You will need the following information for issuing the pass:

  • Passport 
  • Details of your current Short Term Visit Pass or immigration pass
  • Your residential address in Singapore 
  • A local address where MOM can deliver the card
  • Contact details of at least one authorised recipient to receive an SMS or email on the delivery details

You may also need to submit PDF copies of these documents:

  • Disembarkation/Embarkation card (immigration white card)
  • Completed medical examination form or health declaration form
  • Completed declaration form attached with the in-principle approval letter

Step 6: Register fingerprints and photos (If required)

Registering fingerprints and photo within 2 weeks after the pass is issued (if required).

To know whether you need to register fingerprints and photos or not, check the notification letter. Usually, those who apply Employment Pass for the first time or have last registration more than 5 years ago will need to register. 

Making an appointment to visit the Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC) along with these documents is necessary for the registration

  • Original passport
  • Appointment letter
  • Notification letter
  • Documents listed in the IPA letter and notification letter

 Step 7: Receive a card

MOM will deliver the card to you after 4 working days from the date of verifying documents or registering fingerprints and photos (if required).

Source: Ministry of Manpower

If you have any inquires about applying Employment Pass in Singapore, contact us for a quote.

Guide to open a corporate bank account in Singapore

After registering a company in Singapore process completely, opening a corporate bank account in Singapore is an essential step because Singapore is indeed considered as the top financial center and business hub in Asia. In general, most of banks in Singapore give bank authorities attractive features such as multi-currency accounts, internet banking, credit cards, trade financing, freedom to move funds across countries, etc. Especially, a procedure for opening the bank account is simple and prompt which lasts approximately 2 weeks to receive a bank account number, bank token and pin code.

The article aims to provide readers the requirements of documents to open a bank account, important notes and how we can assist you in opening a bank account in Singapore.

Requirements for opening a corporate bank account in Singapore

To open a bank account for a company in Singapore, most of banks in Singapore have requirements as follows:

1. A major director and bank authority need to present physically in a bank in Singapore for signing required documents.

2. Submitting completely the required documents for opening the bank account from the banks. Here are documents required for the procedure of opening bank account:

  • Corporate account opening forms
  • Certified of true copies of Certificate of Incorporation, Company’s Business Profile from ACRA and Company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA)
  • Certified of true copies of Passport and Proof of address of the directors, bank authorities, and beneficiary owners.
  • Additional documents which are required by banks in some special cases

 Important notes for a corporate bank account in Singapore

  • Initial deposit required

It is depended on your approached bank, the initial deposit required may be range from S$500 to S$3,000 SGD.

In order to top up the amount of deposit to your corporate bank account, a cheque deposit is required. The cash deposit is not accepted.

  • Minimum balance 

To maintain your corporate bank account, the minimum balance is one of the most essential factors.

As the initial deposit required, the amount of minimum balance is still dependent on the bank which you choose to open the bank account.

Kindly note that you will be charged an additional fee if the bank account is failed below the required minimum balance amount.

  • Currencies

USA, SGD, AUD, EUR and more are popular currencies that banks in Singapore allow you to choose for your corporate bank account. In general, a bank account can hold multiple currencies. Thus, depending on your demands, you can choose multi-currencies to your account.

  • Cheque book

The bank authorities will receive a cheque book after opening the corporate bank account successfully.

  • Internet banking 

A bank token which helps you to transfer money online easily, and manages transactions wherever and whenever you stay.

With an innovation banking system, excellent banking infrastructure and a network of highly skilled finance professionals, owning a corporate bank account in Singapore is one of the most essential factors that helps your business to capitalise on Singapore’s distinctive financial competence.

If you need assistance in opening a bank account in Singapore, kindly contact us for more information.

A certificate of incorporation in Singapore

After setting up a company in Singapore, you will receive a certificate of incorporation which is issued by ACRA (The accounting and corporate regulatory authority in Singapore). ACRA may be called the registrar of companies in Singapore. The certificate of incorporation is the legal document of your company in Singapore, which is shown the company has been registered/ incorporated on the stated date.

What is a Certificate of Incorporation?

The Certificate of Incorporation is the document related to the formation of the company, so it will contain information as follows:

  • Name of the company
  • Registration number/ Unique Entity Number (UEN)
  • Date of incorporation
  • Nature of the entity – private limited or public limited etc.
  • The former names of the company (if applicable and up to five recent former names, does not reflect name changes effected before January 2003).

ACRA (The Accounting and corporated regulatory authority in Singapore) issues the certificate of incorporation for your company in Singapore in an e-notification of incorporation which will be emailed out to a person in charge of the corporation fillings after the incorporation procedure is completed successfully. 

In case, a company needs to submit more than one copy of Certificate of Incorporation to other parties upon the course of its’ business, the company can purchase the electronic Certificated of Incorporation from ACRA at any time and any number of times. Please note that only Singaporean or authorized corporate service providers of the entity can make such a purchase with ACRA. 

These certificates will be duly signed electronically by ACRA especially if an unsigned electronic copy of the e-notification is not accepted by any parties overseas.

The importance of the Certificate of Incorporation

When the registrar of companies in Singapore approves an application to form a company, the certificate of incorporation must be issued. Hence, the incorporation certificate is an important document because it demonstrates that the company has been formed as a separate legal entity with its own identity distinct from its directors and shareholders and fulfills all the regulatory requirements for company formation.

When will the incorporation certificate needed?

You’ll sometimes be required to show the certificate of incorporation when:

  • Opening a bank account for the business
  • Entering into any trading agreements, business contracts with overseas government or agencies of the government
  • Proofing of existence and nature of the entity with your parties. 
  • Applying for a loan for the company
  • Seeking any other kind of funding for the business
  • Selling the company to someone else

Where Can You Obtain a Certificate of Incorporation in Singapore?

As mentioned below, the certificate of incorporation from ACRA. First of all, you are required to visit ACRA’s BizFile+ portal at, then making a purchase online. 

Here is a step-by-step for purchasing a certificate of incorporation in Singapore:

After the purchase has been completed, ACRA will send a message with a link which is for download the electronic certificate of incorporation.

A hard copy of the certificate is no longer allowed to purchase from ACRA. To obtain the hardcopy of the certificate, it must be legalized with consulate-general of the Republic of Singapore. 

You need the electronic copy or hardcopy of certificate and do not know how to obtain, we are pleased to support you. Contact ACE Global Accountant for any inquires.

The comparison between Singapore Employment Pass vs EntrePass

Foreigners who intend to work in Singapore will need to apply for work passes and permits. There are many types of work passes but EntrePass (Entrepreneur Pass) and Employment Pass are two popular ones, and they will be discussed as follows. This article gives readers some similarities and differences between the two types of work passes.

Similarities of EntrePass and Employment Pass

  • Both work passes are necessary for working and living in Singapore.
  • Both work passes are reviewed and issued by the Singapore Government.
  • The duration of two work passes is from 1 to 2 years, and they can be renewed.
  • A card holder is responsible for paying income tax based on personal income according to Singapore Government regulations.

Differences between EntrePass and Employment Pass

If both EntrePass and Employment Pass are quite similar in that the holder can permanently reside in Singapore and must pay income tax, the differences between the two cards have many factors. The details are discussed below:

  • Who is it for

-EntrePass is spent for foreign entrepreneurs who want to start and operate a new business in Singapore.

-Employment Pass is spent for foreign workers who have a job offer in Singapore; and Foreign entrepreneurs who intend to register a company in Singapore, then moving to Singapore to manage and control for this company.

  • Submission time

– In case you have not incorporated a company in Singapore, you can apply for EntrePass. Once Entre Pass is approved, the company opening process needs to be completed within 30 days.

– In case you already have the company which has only been established for less than 6 months, you may decide to apply for EntrePass or Employment Pass depending on the purpose and requirements of each card.

– In case you have the company which has been established for over 6 months, you can only apply for Employment Pass.

  • Number of Singapore company shares

You need to apply for EntrePass if you are one of the company’s shareholders, and hold more than 30% of shareholders of the company.

  • Ideas & Business Plan

As mentioned EntrePass is spent for those have not established a Singapore company or this company have less than 6 months old, so it is required for a specific idea and business plan from government when applying for EntrePass.

  • Required qualification

The two EntrePass and Employment Pass will be quite contrasting in the qualification requirements. With Entre Pass you just need a good idea and business plan, because this card does not require excellent academic background. However, the Employment Pass is the opposite, applicants need have a good university degree, professional qualifications or specialist skills.

  • Recruitment local employees

This requirement applies only if you apply for EntrePass. It will require to employ at least two full-time local employees.

Comparison table of EntrePass and Employment Pass

To avoid getting confusion EntrePass and Employment Pass, the bellowed table will make it easier for you to take notes

Employment Pass (EP)


Who is it for

Foreign professionals, managers and executives

Foreign entrepreneurs wanting to start and operate a new business in Singapore

Submission time

– Any time after a Singapore company is registered; or

– Whenever a candidate is recruited by a Singapore employer

– Before Singapore company’s candidate is registered; or

– This company was registered less than 6 months ago

Minimum salary

Fixed monthly salary of at least $3,600 (more experienced candidates need higher salaries)

Not required

Other assessment factors

Have acceptable qualifications, usually a good university degree, professional qualifications or specialist skills

– Business idea and plan

– Number of Singapore employees will be intended to hire

– Amount of investment

Minimum investment amount

– In case, you get job offer in Singapore, do not consider this point

– In case, you own Singapore company and plan to work for your company in Singapore

– There is no specific requirement about minimum investment, but the charter capital will be reviewed during the approval process

Minimum SGD 50000

Prepared documents

– The rental agreement at the address where the company will be incorporated; and

– Personal documents in accordance with the provisions of MOM

– Table of Ideas and Business Plans; and

– Personal documents in accordance with the provisions of MOM


1 – 2 years

1 year

Possible for bring family member to Singapore

Yes, and they need to apply certain pass. More detail here

Yes, and they need to apply certain pass. More detail here

Request for renew

Must be working at a company Singapore


– Must operate according to the original plan

– Hire local staff and fulfill the conditions listed in the EntrePass approval letter

ACE Global Accountant provides a service of apply work passes and permits in Singapore for foreigner, contact us for inquiries.

Source: Ministry of Manpower in Singapore


Striking off a Singapore company

Because of some reasons, your Singapore company is no longer needed to do business. Hence, you need to close down the company, which is called striking off. To strike the Singapore company’s name off the Company Register is not difficulty, you is only required to submit a form to ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulation Authority) in pursuant to section 344 of the Singapore Companies Act.

What are differences between striking off and winding up?

You may be confused between striking off and winding up, because they are all considered as ways of closing down the Singapore company. However, winding up is a more formal process that involves the appointment of liquidator to manage the company’s closure, while striking off is suitable for companies which is not in active business or does not have any assets or liabilities.

It means that if the company is insolvent, it is required to wind up instead of strike off. In fact, a process of striking off the company is much faster than winding up.

Requirements for striking off companies

Companies will be able to strike off when:

  • Do not commerce any business activities from the date of incorporation, or implement to cease all of business activities
  • Do not have any outstanding/ pending tax liabilities with the Inland Revenue Authorities (IRAS)
  • Do not have any current or contingent assets or liabilities
  • Submit completely all of annual reports to IRAS and ACRA
  • Do not be involved in any court proceedings both inside and outside Singapore
  • Cancelling GST registration if the company registered GST, and there are no outstanding GST matters
  • Close of Singapore corporate bank account
  • The company director(s) must obtain the written consent of the majority of the shareholders regarding the strike off

The process of striking off with ACRA

  1. Submit an application form for striking off the Singapore company to ACRA
  2. The application is approved
  3. ACRA will send a striking off letter to the registered address of the company in Singapore
  4. The company’s name will be published in the Government Gazette which is the First Gazette Notification if there is no objection
  5. If there is no objection within the next 2 months from the First Gazette Notification, ACRA will publish the name of the company in the Government Gazette again and the name of the company will be struck off the register. This is considered as the Final Gazette Notification.


  • The striking off process will last approximately from 3 to 4 months.
  • If ACRA receives any objection against a striking off application, ACRA will give the company 2 months to resolve the matter. In cases, the company cannot resolve this matter, the striking off application will lapse.

The striking off process can only implement smoothly when you are in compliance with all the legal and statutory regulations of ACRA. Hence, to save your time for the striking off process and to give you the best advice, ACE Global Accountant is be willing to assist you in this matter.

Types of business entities in Singapore

Before making decisions in Singapore company incorporation, all of entrepreneurs do not skip this step of choosing type of business entities. In fact, there are many business entities in Singapore which have some effects on the image, perception and the tax that you can pay.  Hence, you should read to the article of ACE Global Accountant below to gain an overview of the various types of business entities in Singapore and the differences between them to make right decision in choosing business entities for your new incorporated Singapore company.




– Key factors: it suits for small businesses. It is owned and run by an individual who must be a resident in Singapore and at least 18 years old. The sole proprietorship is not considered as a separated legal entity. The fact is foreign individual and company CANNOT register this type of business entities in Singapore.

– Taxation: the profits of a sole proprietorship is taxed based on the personal income tax rate.


-Key factors: it is formed by a minimum of 2 persons and maximum of 20 persons. Foreign individuals or companies are allowed to be partners. Besides, it is not considered as a separate legal entity and all partners are personally liable for the partnership’s debts and losses, even if the debts and losses are incurred by other partners.

-Taxation: Similar to a sole proprietorship, the tax rate imposed will be that of the partner. If the partner is an individual, the personal income tax rates will apply; If the partner is a company, corporate tax rates will apply.


-Key factors: it is required at least two partners but no maximum number of partners. There is one partner who will be the general partner. The general partner has unlimited liability and personally liable for all debts and losses. Hence, a limited partner will not be liable for the debts and other liabilities of the partnership beyond the amount of his/her agreed contribution.

-Taxation: the tax rate imposed will be that of the general partner. If the general partner is an individual, the personal income tax rates will apply; If the general partner is a company, corporate tax rates will apply.


Main points: this type of business entities is treated as an separate entity from the members, it means the company is considered  as a “person” in law. It is required one or more individuals who must be a Singaporean or foreigner owning Employment Pass/ Permanent Resident in Singapore registers as a director of the company. This business entities includes three main types:

  1. Private Limited Companies:

-Key factors: it is required at least one director and one shareholder, and the maximum of shareholder is fifty. It’s name will end with Private Limited or Pte. Ltd. Moreover, the shareholders of a private limited company can either be individuals or corporate entities or both.

-Taxation: a private limited company can qualify for tax exemption schemes and is taxed at the effective corporate tax rate of 17%.

2. Exempt Private Limited Companies

-Key factors: A subtype of a private company, an exempt Private Limited Company has less than 20 members, none of them being corporate entities. Should the companies turnover exceed S$5million it will no longer be deemed exempt. The status is not specially conferred, it is simply a status by operation of law

3. Gazetted Exempt Private Companies

-Key factors: Government-owned companies which have been declared Exempt Private Company by the Minister Gazette.


Here are two main types:

  1. Company Limited by Share

-Key factors: The number of shareholders can be more than fifty members and the company may raise capital by offering shares and debentures to the public. A public company must register a prospectus with ACRA before making any public offer of shares and debentures

2. Company Limited by Guarantee

-Key factors: Companies limited by guarantee are usually formed for non-profit making purpose. This type of company is more commonly used for trade associations, charitable bodies, clubs, proffesional and learned societies, some religious bodies and the like, rather than commercial undertakings.

Foreign Company Registration Options

The options for foreign companies

  • Branch Office: A branch office is registered in Singapore as an extension of its parent company and not as a separately incorporated entity. The liabilities of a branch office extend to its parent company.
  • Representative Office: A representative office is registered in Singapore as a temporary arrangement for conducting marketing research activities. A representative office does not have any legal status and cannot be engaged in any profit yielding activities.
  • Subsidiary Company: A subsidiary company is a private limited company incorporated in Singapore with the parent company as its shareholder. For small to medium-sized foreign businesses, a subsidiary company is the most preferred choice of registration in Singapore.

Which types of business entities in Singapore a foreign company or individual should choose?

A private limited company will be the most popular for a foreign company or individual to set up in Singapore because it is advanced and flexible type of business form in Singapore.

  • Separate legal entity
  • Limited liability
  • Ease of incorporation
  • Ease of raising capital
  • Ease of transfer of ownership
  • Tax exemption schemes

For more questions related to Singapore company incorporation, contact us for a quote.

Penalties for Late or Non-Payment of Withholding Tax

The deadline to pay the withholding tax to IRAS will be the 15th of the second month from the date of payment to a non-resident or company in Singapore or on the 25th of the same month if you are on GIRO. In fact, it is essential to comply with the deadline of payment because late payment or non-payment of withholding tax results in penalties including pecuniary and recovery actions. Read information below to know the penalties for late or non-payment of withholding tax.

Confirmation of Payment (CP)

After IRAS has received the withholding tax payment of your business or when the GIRO deduction is successful, IRAS will send to you the Confirmation of Payment (CP) which is considered as a tax receipt. You may receive the CP from IRAS within 10 days after your payment is successful.

  • The CP will be sent to you at the Singapore address which is registered with IRAS.

Note that you will only receive a payment of withholding tax of $10 and above, and the amount stated in the CP does not include any late payment penalty paid although you paid for the penalty for late or non-payment.

Penalties for Late or Non-Payment

Late Payment Penalty

As mentioned, the withholding tax must be paid to IRAS by the 15th of the second month from the date of payment to the non-resident. Late or non-payment of withholding tax results in penalties. If the withholding tax payment is not received by the due date, a 5% penalty and subsequently, an additional 1% penalty (not exceeding 15% of the tax outstanding) can will be imposed for each completed month that the tax remains unpaid.

  • Late Payment Penalty Letter

IRAS will send you the letter which inform you the 5% of penalty and the due date for the late payment penalty. Hence, you must made payment by the stated due date to avoid additional penalty or further enforcement actions.

Imposition of Additional Penalty

Within 30 days from the due date, IRAS has not yet received the withholding tax payment from you, IRAS will impose an additional penalty of 1% for each completed month that the tax remain unpaid (maximum 15% equivalent to 15 months, amount to the highest percentage of penalty is 20%)

Note that IRAS may also take other recovery actions in particularly serious cases of late payment including directly instructing your bank to pay monies held in your bank account, as well as commencing legal action.

Therefore, it is important for making withholding tax payment timely. In case you need a professional corporate tax service to assist you in withholding tax, ACE Global Accountant has abilities to support you to determine and comply with the withholding tax requirements.


Basics of Record Keeping for Singapore Company

For small Singapore companies’ owners who have no experience on how to keep Singapore company record, this article will help you to gain a basic understanding of what are the starting steps to maintaining transactional records.

Ingredients of small business record keeping for Pte Ltd Company in Singapore

  1. Monthly Bank Statements
  2. Sales Invoices / Records
  3. Credit Note Records
  4. Purchase Receipts and Documentation
  5. Stock or Inventory Records
  6. Payroll Records
  7. CPF Records
  8. Fixed Assets Records
  9. Rental Agreement and Payment Records
  10. Bank Loan Agreement / Hire Purchase Agreement with their schedule of repayments and interest table
  11. Receipts and Documentation of Expenditure incurred by Directors or Business Owners on behalf of the Company (expenses out of your own pocket)
  12. A suitable accounting recording system (You may invest in an accounting software or simply use Excel if your business is small and simple enough)
  13. A set of Self Inking Stamps that include Paid, Received and Posted.

Tips on source records for a Singapore company

Under the Income Tax Act, it is required a company to keep proper business records for a minimum period of 5 years.

This is a fairly simple rule to follow if you are able to keep a good filing system for all your business records. For a start, be very generous with the number of files you create for your company records. From our experience, we noticed that businesses like to file everything in one or two files with no proper segregation of document types. We recommend that a separate file be created to keep track of specific transactions for ease of retrieval and tracking. Refer to our illustration for a sample category of files to create for your business.




Houses all your sales invoices with a section for Credit Note (if any)


Houses all supplier invoices. The difference between this file and the Expense file is that this file contains expenses incurred for goods, services or materials that you will use for your business sales whilst the expense file will contain all other administrative and operating expenses


Keeps all payroll records, CPF and Foreign Worker Levy transactions here


Contains all other administrative and operating expenses (example: Utilities, Telecommunication, Printing & Stationery etc. You may opt to categorize the expenses by Date (recommended) or by Type of Expenses.

If a certain type of expense is high in volume, example if a company has numerous transport claims, it is recommended that you maintain a separate expense file for that particular expense.


Contains all Monthly Bank Statements for your Company. This is one of the most important files in your record keeping


Contains all IRAS letters, notice of assessments and correspondences


Contains all transactions paid on behalf of the Company, by the Directors of the Company, and yet to be reimbursed by the Company. You may consider creating this file if there is a significant volume of transactions that are paid by the Directors initially. With this file, it will be more efficient for the person preparing the accounts to identify transactions not paid through the Company account, and also facilitates Reimbursement.


You may create this file to keep track of rental expenses. If you only lease one office with no variable charges, you may keep rental invoices in the Expense file.


Contains all invoices relating to acquisition of Fixed Assets like Computers and Softwares, Office Equipment, Furniture and Motor Vehicles.

This will allow you to account for taxes and make relevant claims and allowances for Fixed Assets when it’s time to file your company taxes.


Contains all Bank Loan agreements, Hire Purchase Lease agreements, Third Party Loan agreements with the corresponding payment schedule and interest amortization table.

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When And How To File Withholding Tax

To know what is withholding tax in Singapore, please read an article “A Singapore company – An overview of Withholding Tax”. In this article will updated when and how to file withholding tax of your organization in Singapore.

When to file Withholding tax

The e-filing of withholding tax and payment are due on 15th of the second month from the date of payment to the non-resident.

If you are on GIRO for withholding tax payment, the deduction is on the 25th of the same month after the payment due date.

You may refer to your acknowledgement page for payment details after you have e-filed.

Late penalty fees will be imposed when payment is not received by the due date. Hence, to avoid late payment penalties, please e-file the withholding tax and ensure the payment is received by IRAS before the due date.

The date of payment

The date of payment is defined as the earliest of the following dates:

  1. When the payment is due and payable based on the agreement or contract, or the date of the invoice in the absence of any agreement or contract (credit terms should not be taken into consideration).
  2. When payment is credited to the account of the Non-Resident or any other account(s) designated by the Non-Resident
  3. The date of actual payment
  4. Director’s Fees: The date of payment for director’s fees is the earliest of the payment date or the date the payment was voted and approved (Example: at the Company’s Annual General Meeting).

How to e-file witholding tax

The due date of filling witholding tax to IRAS is on the 15th of the second month from the date of payment to the non-resident.

In fact, the form of withholding tax can only be filed electronically via myTax Portal for withholding tax payment to IRAS from 1 July 2016.

Here is a process of e-filling withholding tax

Step 1 : Authorise Users for Withholding Tax Filing

If this is the first time your organisation is e-filling withholding tax or you wish to authorise/ re-authorise a person for e-filling, this step will be required.

Kindly note that from 1 September 2018, CorpPass will replace EASY as the authorisation system to access IRAS’s e-Service.

Step 2: Log into myTax Portal

After being the authorised, you can log in to myTax Portal for “ Organisation/ Business Tax Matters or Client Tax Matters, whichever is applicable to file for the orgiansation.

Kindly note that form 1 September 2018, the only login method is CorpPass, and the SingPass/ IRAS PIN is no longer accepted. 

Step 3 : e-File Withholding Tax

Next, you log in to myTax Portal to complete and e-file the withholding tax. Here are two points that you need to take note before e-filling:

  • You can choose one of two motheds as follows – S45 Online e-filling (2.109MB) or S45 Offline Data-Entry (ODE) application (1.942MB) (a single file).
  • Singapore dollar is the only currency which is reported in the withholding tax form. However, if your payment to non-resident is in foreign currency, please use foreign currency selling rate based on the date of payment to the non-resident to convert into Singapore dollar.
  • Drop the cents when declaring the gross taxable income
  • If your organization if applying Double Tax Relief or Approved Royalty Incentive rate on the withholding tax records to be e-filed, please select the applicable relief/ incentive under the Relief/ Incentive (If applicable)
  • Only authorised users as Approver can submit the e-filling to IRAS
  • You should receive an acknowledgment page upon successful transmission of the e-filling.

Step 4: Save the Acknowledgement Page and Make Payment

Save and read the instructions in the acknowledgment page to make payment (if applicable) to IRAS by the due date.

For details on the modes and due dates for payment, please refer to the following :

Source: Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore