Sep 26, 2018
$50.2 billion in tax revenue collected – up 6.8%
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) collected $50.2 billion in tax revenue in Financial Year (FY) 2017/18. This is an increase of 6.8% from the previous FY and came on the back of better-than-expected economic expansion of 3.6% in 2017. Tax revenue collected supported funding of key Government programmes to build an innovative and connected economy, a quality living environment and a caring and inclusive society.
The increase in revenue collection was attributed mainly to higher Corporate Income Tax collection from improved corporate earnings; and higher Stamp Duty collection due to a higher number of property transactions. The cost of tax collection remained low at 0.84 cents for every dollar collected.
Tax Revenue – Facts and Figures
IRAS’ collection of $50.2 billion in FY2017/18 represents 66.2% of the Government Operating Revenue and 11.1% of Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product.
Income Tax (Corporate Income Tax, Individual Income Tax and Withholding Tax) made up 54% of IRAS’ collection in FY2017/18, similar to the previous financial year. Total income taxes collected were $27.2 billion, 6.3% higher as compared to $25.6 billion in FY2016/17. The increase was attributed to higher Corporate Income Tax collection – up from last FY’s $13.6 billion to FY2017/18’s $15.0 billion – due to improved corporate earnings.
GST collection was $11.0 billion in FY2017/18, similar to FY2016/17.
FY2017/18 Property Tax collection was consistent with FY2016/17, at $4.4 billion. Stamp Duty collection for FY2017/18 increased by 49.6% to $4.9 billion due to a higher number of property transactions.
$2.7 billion of Betting Taxes, comprising Betting Duty, Casino Tax and Private Lotteries Duty, were collected in FY2017/18, unchanged from the previous year.
A Transformation Agenda
Marking IRAS’ 25th anniversary as a statutory board in 2017, the organisation pressed ahead with its transformation movement to redefine taxpayers’ experiences by LEveraging Analytics, Design and Digitalisation (LEA:D).
“IRAS has quickened the pace of transformation. Taxpayers benefited from more digital initiatives that provided greater convenience, and made filing, payment, and compliance easier. Online tools such as a Virtual Assistant and an interactive start-up kit for new companies, provide quick answers to taxpayers. We will continue to engage stakeholders to improve tax services.”
- Mr. Ng Wai Choong, Commissioner of Inland Revenue/Chief Executive Officer
Redefining Taxpayer Experiences
In line with the Smart Nation push for e-payment and to provide greater taxpayer convenience, IRAS was the first organisation to partner OCBC Bank to leverage Application Programming Interface (“API”) for online application of GIRO. With this service at myTax Portal since November 2017, taxpayers no longer need to submit paper forms. The GIRO facility can be set up instantaneously. We will be collaborating with other banks to extend this service to their customers.
Other services rolled out in FY2017/18 for taxpayer-centred experiences were:
Maximising Voluntary Compliance
Most taxpayers are voluntarily compliant as IRAS makes it easy for them to file and pay their taxes:
We continued to take firm actions against non-compliance. We audited and investigated 10,726 taxpayers and recovered approximately $384 million in taxes and penalties in FY2017/18.
Fostering a Competitive Tax Environment
Singapore is fully committed to the international standards on tax cooperation. In 2017, Singapore signed two international agreements to facilitate sharing of tax information across borders – the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), and the MCAA on the Exchange of Country-by-Country Reports (CbCR). As of March 2018, Singapore has established a total of 62 Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) relationships for CRS purposes, and 53 AEOI relationships for CbCR purposes.
In line with the fast development of the digital economy, IRAS will be introducing GST on imported digital services with effect from 1 Jan 2020, to ensure that all services consumed in Singapore, whether purchased locally or abroad, are subject to the same GST treatment. About 850 businesses and associations have been consulted in the design of the GST measures.
Highlights of FY2017/18 Annual Report at a Glance
Tax Statistics at a Glance
The latest tax statistics are available here.
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
Credit to IRAS