Tax collection falls 7.3% to S$49.6bil in FY2020/21 due to COVID-19 pandemic: IRAS

Tax collection falls 7.3% to S$49.6bil in FY2020/21 due to COVID-19 pandemic: IRAS

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) said on Thursday (2 Sept) that total tax collection fell by 7.3 per cent in the last financial year, with S$49.6 billion in tax revenue, as a result of “dampened business activities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore”.

According to its annual report FY2020/21, the tax revenue amount represents 73.6 per cent of the government operating revenue and 10.6 per cent of Singapore’s gross domestic product.

IRAS noted that as of 31 March this year, the current year arrears for income tax, goods and services tax (GST) and property tax also fell to S$323.8 million, from S$357 million in the previous financial year.

In the financial year 2020, total income taxes – which comprise corporate income tax, individual income tax and withholding tax – made up 62 per cent of IRAS’ collection. They amounted to S$30.5 billion, which is 0.9 per cent lower than the S$30.8 billion collected in the financial year 2019.

IRAS noted that collection for both GST and property tax fell by 7.3 per cent to S$10.3 billion and 34.3 per cent to S$3.1 billion, respectively.

Stamp duty collection also dropped to S$3.9 billion, 7.2 per cent lower than the previous year.

Betting taxes – comprising betting duty, casino tax and private lotteries duty – fell by 34.3 per cent to S$1.7 billion.

“Specifically, the fall in collections for income and property taxes were mainly due to the implementation of support measures such as tax rebates.

“In addition, GST, stamp duty and betting taxes collections were lower due to weaker economic conditions and circuit breaker measures put in place for business activities during the year,” it asserted.

The agency also provided corporate and property tax rebates, extension of tax filing deadlines, deferment of income tax payments, and instalment payments to ease cashflow for affected taxpayers affected by the pandemic.

In addition, IRAS has also disbursed national grants to enterprises through the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS), Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), government cash grants, and Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI).

It noted that about S$1.4 billion was disbursed in WCS and more than S$969 million was disbursed in rental relief cash grants in the financial year 2020.

IRAS has also disbursed more than S$25 billion in JSS payouts and over S$134 million in JGI payouts in the last financial year.

“While there is a need for the disbursement process to be highly efficient to provide timely cashflow support for businesses, IRAS also instituted a robust anti-gaming framework, leveraging data from multiple sources, to prevent and detect abuses of these schemes,” it noted.

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments