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IRAS building / image: Wikipedia

Tax season 2017 maintains overall 96 percent record high on-time filing rate

Tax season 2017 maintains record high overall on-time filing rate, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) stated on 24 April.

IRAS announced that this year, 96 percent of taxpayers filed their tax returns on-time, maintaining the record high set last year. 770,000 taxpayers, or more than 97 percent of those who filed, did so electronically.

17 percent of taxpayers accessed myTax Portal on-the-go

Taxpayers used the improved myTax Portal that provides intuitive tax filing experience with new features, such as quick overview of tax filing status, summary of tax accounts and shortcuts to popular e-Services.

About 17 percent of taxpayers accessed myTax Portal on-the-go, one of the tax filing enhancements offered since last year via smartphones and tablets.

70,000 e-Filers received immediate notice of assessment upon filing

This year, about 70,000 e-Filers received their finalised tax bill (Notice of Assessment) immediately upon filing their tax returns. With this newly piloted initiative, they were informed of their tax payable for the Year of Assessment (YA) immediately.

“IRAS aims to scale up this service initiative progressively,” IRAS wrote.

5,000 partnerships filed before March, 10,000 taxpayers benefitted from Pre-Filled Partnership income

More than 5,000 partnerships filed their business income by end February this year. This enabled their partners to enjoy the convenience of having their partnership income pre-filled in their individual income tax returns by IRAS.

This new service initiative benefitted more than 10,000 taxpayers and IRAS invites all business partnerships to file earlier next year.

Seamless submission of employment income details for employers

About 1.75 million taxpayers whose employers participated in the Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS) for employment income enjoyed the convenience of pre-filled tax returns.

This scheme will be extended to employers with nine or more employees from 2018. Nevertheless, IRAS welcomes employers with fewer than 9 employees to join the scheme so that their employees can benefit from the scheme as well.

IRAS invites payroll software vendors to subscribe to the API service for YA 2018 onwards by sending their request through email.

60 AIS employers, using payroll software with the Application Programming Interface (API) service for AIS submission, have enjoyed the seamless submission for their YA 2017 submissions.

With this API service, employers make use of their payroll software to submit employees’ salary details directly to IRAS with a click of a button.

“This makes the submission process easier for employers as they no longer need to download and install IRAS’ AIS software to validate and submit files generated from their payroll software,” the statement said.

GIRO for seamless payment

For taxpayers on the GIRO payment scheme, their GIRO instalment payment will be based on their actual tax payable instead of a provisional instalment plan, IRAS statement said.

Taxpayers are encouraged to pay their taxes by GIRO, to benefit from the flexibility and convenience of paying either in up to 12 monthly interest-free instalments or a one-time deduction. Those who are not on the GIRO payment plan must pay their taxes within one month from the date of the tax bill.

Joining GIRO is easy, IRAS said, it is just a one-time sign-up through any of the following channels:

  • Online GIRO application via Internet Banking (for DBS/POSB, OCBC and UOB customers) - Instant Approval,
  • Online GIRO application at AXS stations (for DBS/POSB customers) - Instant Approval,
  • Use GIRO form on the Payment Slip sent with the Notice of Assessment (for DBS/POSB, HSBC, OCBC and UOB customers),
  • Download GIRO application form and send the completed form to 55 Newton Road, Revenue House, Singapore 307987.

Late filing penalty

However, IRAS reminded taxpayers who have yet to file their returns should do so immediately for there is a late filing penalty of up to $1,000. Those who require assistance can call IRAS at 1800-356 8300 or email.

Getting the tax bill

Most taxpayers should receive their tax bills (Notices of Assessment) for the YA 2017 from end Apr to Sep 2017. Those who have updated their mobile numbers with IRAS will receive SMS alerts when their tax bills are finalised.

Taxpayers should check their tax bills once they receive it. If the tax bill is incorrect, they should inform IRAS within 30 days via the "Object to Assessment" e-Service at myTax Portal. SingPass 2FA is required to log in and view the tax bill online at myTaxPortal.

For more information on the tax bill, visit Tax Season 2017 – About Your Tax Bill webpage at IRAS website.