Understanding Taxes and Accounting in Singapore

Singapore is known as a top financial hub due to its organized tax and accounting systems. Businesses benefit from competitive tax rates and international agreements, while also complying with government policies and standards.

Corporate tax Singapore

Your company in Singapore will be taxed on income earned within Singapore, which includes:

- Profits from any trade or business
- Income from investments like interest and rental earnings
- Royalties, premiums, and other profits from property
- Other gains classified as income

Income earned outside Singapore and received in Singapore is generally taxable, unless specific exemptions apply under certain conditions.

Corporate Tax in Singapore: Simplified

Since January 1, 2003, Singapore has operated under a single-tier corporate income tax system. This means that the tax your company pays on its chargeable income is final, and dividends given to shareholders are not taxed further. Currently, Singapore maintains a flat corporate tax rate of 17%.

To uphold its reputation as a leading business destination and remain competitive, Singapore has kept its corporate tax rate steady at 17%.

Depending on your business’s eligibility for tax exemptions, your effective tax rate may be lower than the headline rate. You can also take advantage of industry-specific tax incentives and concessional tax rates available.

Furthermore, Singapore does not impose taxes on capital gains. This includes profits from selling fixed assets and gains from foreign exchange transactions on capital.

Income Tax Basis Period

In Singapore, corporate income tax is assessed based on the preceding year. This means the basis period for any Year of Assessment (YA) corresponds to the financial year ending (FYE) in the year just before the YA.

For instance, in 2024, you would file a corporate tax return for your company’s financial year that ended between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023. Your company's accounts should be prepared up to the FYE each year.

Income tax filing due date

Corporate tax filing for Singapore companies is due on November 30th. You need to submit a full set of documents to IRAS, including Form C/Form C-S, audited or unaudited accounts, and tax calculations.

Other taxes

When deciding to incorporate a business in Singapore, one of the most crucial considerations is the type of business structure you select.

Personal income tax

For effective management of employees and compliance in Singapore, it's crucial to understand the personal income tax rules.

From YA 2024 onwards, Singapore tax residents are taxed progressively from 0% to 24% based on their income. If a resident earns SG$20,000 or more annually, they must file a tax return. Those earning less than SG$20,000 annually are exempt from income tax.

Non-residents are taxed at a flat rate of 15% on employment income, or at resident rates if higher, including 24% on other income like directors’ fees.

If your company has five or more employees, joining the Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS) is mandatory. This involves submitting employees’ income details to IRAS, simplifying their tax filing process as they only need to verify and submit their tax returns.

Goods and services tax

GST, also known as value added tax (VAT) in other countries, applies a consumption tax to goods, services, and imports in Singapore. GST-registered businesses currently set it at 9%, adding it to the selling price.

Companies in Singapore aren't automatically registered for GST. You need to monitor your taxable turnover. Registration becomes mandatory if your turnover exceeds SG$1 million by the end of the year or if you expect it to exceed this amount in the next 12 months. Voluntary registration is also an option.

After registration, you must e-file your GST return quarterly to IRAS. Even if you have no tax to pay for a period, you must submit a ‘nil’ return. Late filing incurs penalties.

Withholding Tax

Withholding tax is important for non-resident companies in Singapore. A company is non-resident if its management is outside Singapore, including:

- Companies from outside Singapore operating within Singapore
- Singapore offices managed outside Singapore
- Singapore branches of foreign companies

Non-resident companies may face withholding tax on certain incomes like royalties, interest, or fees for technical services. The payer deducts this tax from payments and sends it to IRAS. This ensures that non-resident entities pay taxes on income earned in Singapore.

The withholding tax rate depends on the type of payment and can reduce the net income received by non-resident companies. Singapore has double tax treaties with many countries to avoid double taxation.

Double taxation agreements

As a company expanding internationally, you might worry about paying taxes twice—once in the host country and again in your home country on the same income. Singapore’s network of over 80 double taxation agreements (DTAs) can simplify your tax responsibilities.

What is a double taxation agreement (DTA)?

A DTA is a mutual agreement between two countries aimed at preventing the same income from being taxed twice under their respective national tax laws. Only individuals and entities considered residents under the DTA can benefit from its provisions, which define residency criteria for tax purposes.

Types of income included in double taxation agreements (DTAs)

Income types typically addressed in a DTA encompass:

- Income from real estate
- Shipping and transportation earnings
- Royalties
- Dividends
- Capital gains
- Interest
- Director's fees
- Employment compensation
- Professional fees

If you earn income from a treaty country, you can seek relief under the applicable tax treaty by submitting a Certificate of Residence to prove your Singapore tax residency.

Conversely, if you are a tax resident of a treaty country, you must furnish IRAS with a completed Certificate of Residence, certified by the tax authority of that treaty country.

Accounting standards in Singapore

Once you know your tax obligations, it’s crucial to ensure that your accounting practices follow Singapore’s rules.

In Singapore, accounting standards are called Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS), aligned with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). From 1 January 2003 onward, all companies must adhere to these standards.

The SFRS consists of various standards, labeled as Financial Reporting Standard (FRS) X, such as FRS 1. Each standard specifies areas such as the presentation of financial statements, revenue recognition, and inventory accounting. You can find the SFRS on the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) website.

SFRS for Small Entities

Eligible entities in Singapore can use the SFRS for Small Entities (SE) as an alternative set of financial reporting rules. It offers a simplified framework for small businesses starting from 1 January 2011.

The aim of SFRS for SE is to reduce the reporting burden for small entities while ensuring their financial statements remain clear, trustworthy, and comparable for investors and other users.

Your business may qualify for SFRS for SE if it:

Entities meeting these criteria can use SFRS for SE until they exceed the size limits for two consecutive reporting periods. At that point, they must switch to the full SFRS.

Reach for A Trusted Solution

At Clooud Consulting, we provide a wide array of tax and accounting services to businesses in Singapore. Moreover, we customize our solutions to fit your requirements, whether you're a large multinational or a small startup. Our experienced teams use their global insights and expertise to assist you. This allows you to concentrate on your primary operations, knowing that we have everything else covered. Contact us by visiting our website or email to [email protected].

Understanding IRAS: Its Importance for Your Company

If you pay taxes in Singapore, you deal with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). They collect taxes, make tax laws, and help the government with tax matters. 
Here's what you should know about IRAS and when you might need to contact them.


IRAS, or the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, started in 1947 as the Singapore Income Tax Department. Its main job is to collect taxes from people and businesses. Additionally, it has departments dedicated to investigations, enforcement, and international taxation.IRAS collects about 70% of the government's money, which is used for Singapore's economy and social programs.


1. Tax Collection

The IRAS collects various types of taxes, including income tax, goods and services tax, property tax, stamp duty, casino tax and taxes for charities.

2. Tax Advisory

It advises the government on tax matters. Furthermore, it includes helping to make tax policies and laws, as well as creating tax treaties.


IRAS asks companies to maintain accurate records and accounts of their business operations. This involves documenting financial transactions, maintaining accounting records, and storing bank statements.

Using IRAS-approved accounting software is recommended for businesses to ensure their records are well-maintained. Failure to keep proper accounts can result in penalties and fines from enforcement authorities.


Territorial Tax System:

In Singapore, companies are taxed based on their profits, not where they are registered. For example, if a company is registered in Singapore but does most of its business in another country, it may only need to pay tax on the money it makes there.

Low Corporate Income Tax Rates:

Companies in Singapore pay corporate income tax from 0 to 17%. After paying taxes, they can share profits with shareholders through dividends without extra taxes. Moreover, companies also get tax rebates and incentives to lower their tax bills.

Free-Trade Agreements (FTA):

As of 2021, Singapore has made 26 free trade agreements (FTAs). These agreements are meant to remove obstacles to trade and encourage investments among countries. Businesses in Singapore can use these FTAs to get advantages like lower tariffs, quicker access to new markets, and better protection for their inventions and ideas.


These are the key points to remember about IRAS. It's important to follow tax rules by understanding them. Tax matters can be intricate, so consider hiring a qualified tax agent like Clooud Consulting for guidance. We're here to assist you with any tax-related inquiries you may have!

Tax Planning in Singapore

Tax planning involves analyzing a company's finances to find ways to reduce taxes efficiently. This is also possible in Singapore, where the government offers incentives, grants, and subsidies to help minimize taxes even further. Our Singapore accountants outline the main tax optimization strategies available in the city-state. We also offer services to help you reduce tax payments within the law.

The primary taxes individuals and businesses need to pay in Singapore.

Individuals and businesses in Singapore are required to pay taxes as per the country's tax laws. They need to file tax returns to determine the amount they owe. Taxpayers can explore tax planning options to claim deductions and exemptions.

Income tax is imposed on personal income for individuals and business profits for companies based on their residency status. Additionally, property tax is another significant tax obligation in Singapore.

Here are some key considerations for tax planning in Singapore:

Tax Authority:
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) oversees tax laws in the country. It's essential to understand IRAS rules to ensure compliance and avoid tax evasion.

Tax Rates:
Singapore's tax rates are competitive, with a corporate income tax rate of 17%, one of the lowest globally. Before starting tax planning, understand the applicable rates for different income levels to optimize tax planning strategies.

Tax Reliefs:
Look into tax-saving plans like deductions for employment expenses and charitable donations. Understanding these reliefs can help maximize tax savings for your business.

Objectives in knowing how to do Singapore corporate tax planning

Ensure Economic Strength:

Leverage Productivity:

Minimize Litigation:

Reduce Tax Charges:

What is a Service Charge in Singapore?

In bustling Singapore, figuring out taxes can be confusing, especially when it comes to service charges. If you're running a business or living in Singapore, it's important to understand what service charges are and how they work. In this guide, we'll explain what is a service charge in Singapore and how to apply for Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration. We'll also break down how service charges are calculated in the city-state. Let's dive in!

What is the Service Charge in Singapore?

In Singapore, the service charge, also known as the service fee, is an extra cost added to certain services. It's charged by businesses, especially in the service industry, to cover their service-related expenses. This charge is separate from the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is a tax on most goods and services in Singapore.

When you eat out or stay at a hotel in Singapore, you might notice that your bill is higher than the advertised price. That's because of two charges: GST and the service charge. GST is 8% of the item's price, while the service charge is usually around 10%. You'll see these charges on your bill at most restaurants and hotels across the island.

In some places, the prices on the menu already include GST, so what you see is what you pay. But in other places, you might see "++" added to the price, which means GST and the service charge are extra. It's good to know about these extra charges so you're not surprised when you get the bill.

These charges help cover the costs of running the restaurant or hotel, like paying staff and keeping things in good shape. The service charge specifically goes towards recognizing and rewarding the staff for their hard work in giving you good service.

Looking ahead, Singapore plans to raise its GST rate to 9% in 2024. This will affect the prices of things, including those with a service charge. So it's a good idea to stay updated on changes like these to plan your spending better.

How to Sign Up for Goods and Services Tax (GST)?

Signing up for Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Singapore is simple and involves two main steps. This guide explains how to register for GST, making sure businesses follow tax rules.

Step 1: Applying for GST Registration
To start the process, you need to apply for GST registration with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). You can do this online using the myTax Portal or by filling out a paper application form and sending it to the IRAS address: 55 Newton Road, Revenue House, Singapore 307987.

Remember, you can't charge GST until you receive approval from IRAS. Make sure your GST registration is confirmed before you start collecting GST.

Step 2: Getting the GST Registration Notification
After your GST registration application is approved by IRAS, you'll receive an official notification about when your registration takes effect. This usually comes as a confirmation letter from IRAS and includes important details like:

Once your GST registration kicks in, you need to start charging and collecting GST on your taxable supplies. This also means you have to file GST returns and send the collected GST to IRAS.

How to Figure Out Service Charge in Singapore

Knowing how to calculate service charge in Singapore is important for anyone eating out or staying in hotels in this lively city. While Goods and Services Tax (GST) is always 8%, service charge is usually 10% of your total bill. Understanding how it's calculated helps you avoid surprises when paying. Here’s a simple guide:

Step 1: Check the Service Charge Rate
Before dining out or booking a hotel, find out the service charge percentage, usually listed on the menu or displayed in the establishment. It’s usually around 10%, but make sure to confirm.

Step 2: Calculate the Service Charge
Multiply the service charge percentage (as a decimal) by the total bill before adding GST. For example, if your bill is SGD 200 before GST and the service charge is 10%, the calculation is:

Service Charge = 0.10 (10% as a decimal) × SGD 200 = SGD 20

Step 3: Add Service Charge to the Bill
Add the calculated service charge amount to your total bill. In this case, your bill would be SGD 220 (SGD 200 + SGD 20 service charge).

Step 4: Apply GST
Calculate GST based on the total bill amount, including the service charge. The current rate is 8%. Using the same example:

GST = 0.08 (8% as a decimal) × SGD 220 = SGD 17.60

Step 5: Calculate Final Bill Amount
Add the GST to the total bill, including the service charge:

Final Bill = SGD 220 (total bill + service charge) + SGD 17.60 (GST) = SGD 237.60

That's the total amount you'll need to pay.

Note: Service charges are not taxed, but GST applies to the entire bill, including service charge and goods or services.

In summary, knowing how to calculate service charges in Singapore helps you make informed choices when dining out or staying at hotels. It gives you a clear idea of your expenses and allows you to value the service you receive. Keep updated on changes like the upcoming GST increase to 9% in 2024 as you explore Singapore's vibrant food scene and hospitality industry.

Calculating GST & Service Charges in SG 2024

How the GST Rate Change Impacts You

In Singapore, when you buy something, you almost always pay more than the stated price due to GST and service charge. These charges, at 8% and 10% of the item's retail price, respectively, are payable when you receive the bill at most restaurants and hotels. As many of us know, commencing from 1 January 2024, Singapore will implement the second tranche of its Goods and Services Tax (GST) hike, transitioning from 8% to 9%. Let's find out more in this post on calculating GST & service charges in SG 2024.

There are scenarios where one or more of the following events straddle 1 Jan 2024:

Easy Way to Add GST and Service Charge to Your Bill

No need for complicated calculators! Here’s a super simple way to figure out your bill with extra charges:

Here's the example:

Its is easy to calculate Singaporean GST at 9% rate:

1.If $100 is the GST exclusive value

$100 * 0.09 = $9 GST amount.

2. To get the GST inclusive amount, multiply the GST exclusive value by 1.09.

For a $100 GST exclusive value, $100 * 1.09 = $109 GST inclusive amount.

3. To extract the GST part from a GST inclusive amount, divide the GST inclusive amount by 109 and multiply by 9.

If $109 is the GST inclusive value, then ($109/109) * 9 = $9 GST value.

Calculating GST & Service Charges in SG 2024 can be daunting. Here's more on Things you need to know about GST in 2024
Read more: What is GST and how it works!

Understanding Corporate Tax Filing

Who is obligated to file corporate income tax?

Understanding Corporate Tax Filing is important and let's dive deeper into it. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) mandates the following entities to file their corporate income tax:

It is important to note that sole-proprietorship's or partnerships are not classified as companies. Tax obligations for sole-proprietorship's or partnerships are to be fulfilled through individual income tax filings.

How to Determine Your Taxable Income

Companies are taxed based on the income earned in the preceding financial year. For the tax assessment year 2023, income generated in the financial year 2022 will be taxed. Most companies end their financial year on 31 December, but some may choose alternative year-end dates. It's important to inform IRAS if your company's financial year-end differs from 31 December or extends beyond 12 months.

In Singapore, companies are taxed at a standard rate of 17% of their chargeable income, which is the income after deducting tax-allowable expenses. Capital allowances and reliefs may further reduce the taxable income and tax liability.

Tax Filing for Sole-Proprietorships or Partnerships

Sole-proprietors and partnership owners are responsible for filing their taxes as part of their individual income tax. To facilitate this process, they must maintain accurate records and accounts of all business transactions, supported by relevant documents like invoices and receipts.

At the end of the accounting period, owners must compile a statement of accounts, including profit and loss accounts and balance sheets, to ascertain business income and expenses.

Owners typically receive a filing notification or Income Tax Return (Form B or B1 or P) from IRAS by March each year. Upon receipt, they must submit either a 2-line or 4-line Statement for tax filing. The 2-line Statement is for businesses with revenue under S$200,000 for the YA, while the 4-line Statement is for those exceeding this threshold. In the 2-line Statement, businesses declare revenue and adjusted profit/loss, while the 4-line Statement requires additional information such as revenue, gross profit/loss, allowable business expenses, and adjusted profit/loss.

Filing a GST F5 return directly to IRAS using Xero

Read more: How To Do Singapore Corporate Tax Planning

GST Claims for Businesses in Singapore

Entrepreneurship can be an exhilarating journey, filled with the excitement of bringing your vision to life and navigating the complexities of business ownership. From conceptualizing your idea to achieving product-market fit and targeting your desired customer segments, every step is a thrilling adventure. However, amidst the hustle and bustle of entrepreneurship, it's crucial not to overlook essential tasks like managing accounting, cash flow, and taxes.

Fortunately, with the assistance of Xero, handling these critical aspects of business management becomes remarkably streamlined and efficient. This allows entrepreneurs to devote more time and energy to realizing their visions and driving their ventures forward. While it may be tempting to overlook accounting and tax-related matters, adhering to Singapore's regulatory frameworks is fundamental to the success and sustainability of any business endeavor. Let's dive to learn more on how to claim GST for business in Singapore.

Exploring the nuances of GST claims accessible to Singaporean businesses

Within the realm of GST, two primary components dictate financial transactions:

Duration for GST Claims & Filing?

When it comes to Singapore GST claims, understanding the time frame is crucial. As a business owner, you often juggle multiple responsibilities, particularly in the early stages of your venture. It's imperative to ensure that any GST claims align with your company's accounting period.

The accounting period typically corresponds with the financial year, which can vary among entities. A prevalent accounting period spans from April to March, although some companies, like HP Inc and HP Enterprise, operate on a November to October fiscal year. Alternatively, some businesses and entrepreneurs opt for a January to December financial year, which is often chosen for its simplicity and alignment with the standard calendar period.

Unlocking the Benefits of GST Claims for Businesses

For Singapore startups and SMEs, claiming GST refunds can be a game-changer. Especially for those in STEM fields, where R&D activities often eat into financial resources. Being GST-registered means potential refunds from IRAS, injecting much-needed funds into day-to-day operations. This financial boost, though seemingly modest, can cover essential expenses like office rent, salaries, and utilities, helping businesses stay afloat and focused on growth.

Read more: Calculating GST & Service Charges in SG 2024

How to switch to Xero from a different accounting system

Are you struggling to switch to Xero from a different accounting system? Dive into this guide to learn more.

Firstly, how to transition to Xero:

Transfer data from your previous system to Xero

For users of alternative systems, data migration to Xero can be facilitate through importing CSV files in bulk. You can import the following categories:

Input historical transactions by:

Record historical transactions starting from the conversion date, including:

Process payments and reconcile your bank account with these steps:

Generate reports to assess your business performance, start with these key reports:

Finalize your tax returns:

Howevery, the terminology for sales tax may vary depending on your organization's country. For instance, South African entities may refer to it as VAT on reports and screens within Xero.

Finally, if transitioning from another accounting system to Xero is proving to be a challenge, explore additional guidance available here.

Experience seamless transition to Xero:

In conclusion, at Clooud Consulting, we understand the urgency of your business needs. As a result, we prioritize providing swift and efficient solutions to help you switch to Xero from a different accounting system. As a result, from initial consultation to full setup, our team works tirelessly to complete the migration, because we aim to minimize disruptions to your operations. Trust Clooud Consulting to seamlessly move your business to Xero and unlock its full potential. Contact us today to get started.

How To Do Singapore Corporate Tax Planning

Tax planning requires a thorough review of a company's finances to implement strategies that minimize taxes. In Singapore, individuals and businesses must follow tax regulations by filing returns to calculate their taxes.

In Singapore, both residents and businesses have to pay different taxes like income tax and property tax. Therefore, it's important to plan taxes carefully to get deductions and exemptions. People and companies pay income tax based on where they live or their business profits.

Singapore is known worldwide for its corporate tax benefits. It keeps lowering tax rates to draw in investments. Companies pay a flat income tax rate of 17%, making Singapore a great place for business. This helps the economy grow and brings in investments from around the world.

In general, Singapore has deals with about 100 countries to avoid taxing income twice. Our tax planning services help businesses cut down on taxes by using legal deductions and benefits. This helps reduce tax bills every year.

Furthermore, strategic tax planning not only aids in reducing tax liabilities but also bolsters the economy by ensuring a steady inflow of funds for growth, benefiting citizens and fostering economic stability. By channeling funds towards productive ventures, our goal is to maximize fund utilization for increased productivity.

Moreover, efficient tax planning helps avoid legal conflicts with tax authorities and aims to lower overall tax burdens. Our strategy concentrates on matching investments with the guidelines of the Income Tax Act 1947. This ensures financial efficiency while meeting official requirements.


In this post, we trust you've gained insights into how to do Singapore corporate tax planning techniques.

At Clooud Consulting LLP, we believe it's important to plan ahead for taxes in your business. Our experienced tax advisors provide personalized advice based on your finances. We help you pay taxes wisely and may even find ways for you to get exemptions. Our tax experts continue to support you and handle your tax filings with IRAS every year, whether you're an individual or a company.

Moreover, our team of Chartered Accountants and Consultants keeps track of deadlines and finds tax exemptions for you. We make everything easy by giving you digital documents that you can sign online, saving you time. This lets you concentrate on growing your business while we take care of your taxes.

Join forces with Clooud Consulting LLP to handle your tax duties smoothly. We'll help you plan your taxes and file them each year hassle-free. With our support, you can focus on growing your business effortlessly.

GST Accounting Service Singapore

GST, or Goods and Services Tax, is a vital part of Singapore's tax system, akin to VAT in other countries. It was implemented on April 1, 1994, at a rate of 9% and applies to goods, services, and imports. As part of Singapore's tax strategy, GST Registration Singapore emphasizes indirect taxes. Businesses with a turnover exceeding S$1 million must file GST Quarterly. For excellent GST accounting services in Singapore, see our guide below!


Understanding GST registration in Singapore is crucial. It's a tax system based on consumption. Traders must register and file returns if their annual turnover exceeds S$1 million.


  1. Time Saver:
    Our experienced accountants specialize in simplifying the GST registration and filing process. We ensure timely and accurate submissions, thereby saving you both time and effort.
  2. Experts Support:
    Understanding your unique business needs is central to our approach. Our experts carefully analyze your situation to maximize GST benefits while ensuring compliance with regulatory standards.
  3. Manage GST With Ease:
    Switching accountants shouldn't be a hassle. We ensure a seamless transition from your current accountant, giving you peace of mind to focus on your business.

Navigating GST doesn't have to be hard! At Clooud Consulting, we're here to make it easy. Our experts offer a personalized, complimentary consultation to help you understand GST. Navigating through taxes can be tough; however, with our assistance, you'll know exactly what steps to take for your business.

Don't let GST hold you back any longer – take the first step towards financial peace of mind by reaching out to us today! Our commitment is to simplify the GST journey for you, ensuring you can focus on what matters most – the growth and success of your business. Are you ready to streamline your GST journey. Talk to us today, and let Clooud Consulting be your partner in achieving financial efficiency and success for your business! Learn more about our GST Accounting Service.