How does Budget 2018 affect companies and individuals?

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has revealed the Government’s Budget statement for Financial Year (FY) 2018 in Parliament on Monday (19 February). In his speech, Mr Heng revealed several measures to ensure Singapore economy remains vibrant and Singaporeans are looked after for.

Below is the announced changes which companies and individuals can look out for in the days to come.


Bad news

  • Carbon tax of S$5 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions for all facilities producing 25,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions in a year from 2019 to 2023.

Good news

  • Wage Credit Scheme, which co-funds wage increases for Singaporean employees up to a gross monthly wage of S$4,000, will be extended for three more years to provide 20 percent co-funding for 2018, 15 percent for 2019 and 10 percent for 2020.
  • The Corporate Income Tax rebate will also be raised to 40 per cent of tax payable, capped at S$15,000, for Year of Assessment (YA) 2018 and will be extended to YA2019 at a rate of 20 per cent tax payable, capped at S$10,000.
  • Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) to provide funding support of up to 70 percent of qualifying costs.
  • The tax deduction on licensing payments for the commercial use of intellectual property (IP) will be raised to 200 percent, capped at S$100,000 of licensing payments per year.
  • Enterprise Development Grant (EDG), which is made up of two existing grants – SPRING Singapore’s Capability Development Grant (CDG) and IE Singapore’s Global Company Partnership Grant (GCP) to provide funding support for up to 70 percent of qualifying costs from financial year 2018 to 2019.
  • Tech Skills Accelerator (TeSA) to be given an additional S$145 million.
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Bad news

  • Foreign domestic worker (FDW) levy framework will be adjusted from S$265 to S$300 for the first FDW and S$450 for the second from 1 April 2019.
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) raise from 7 to 9 percent sometime in the period from 2021 to 2025.
  • Goods and services tax (GST) will be imposed on imported digital services such as movie and music streaming services and mobile apps in 2020.
  • Households to experience an increase of about 1 per cent of total electricity and gas expenses on average due to the carbon tax. (Subsidies of around 20 dollars a year will be handed out to HDB flats which qualify)
  • Top marginal Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) rate for residential properties will be raised from 3 to 4 percent.
  • 10 percent increase in tobacco excise duty across all tobacco products with effect from 19 February.

Good news

  • The qualifying age for FDW levy concession under the aged person scheme will be raised from 65 to 67 years
  • Hongbao of up to $300 for all Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2017.
  • Increase in annual Edusave contributions by the Government, from S$200 to S$230 for each primary school student, and S$240 to S$290 for secondary school ones.
  • Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) will be increased to S$30,000 for families buying a resale flat to live with their parents or children with immediate effect. S15,000 for singles.
  • Households will see a one-year extension to the S&CC rebate.
  • Tax deductions for donations to Institutions of Public Character will be extended for another three years until 31 December 2021.
  • Eldershield to include premium subsidies for lower- and middle-income Singaporeans.