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A Comprehensive guide to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)

A Comprehensive guide to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)


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Singapore is widely recognized for its highly-efficient and competitive tax system, which lets companies, partnership firms, sole proprietor and entrepreneurs (individuals) enjoy low tax rates and several types of tax relief. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) is the central tax administrator of the country. It falls under the Ministry of Finance’s authority and operates as a chief tax advisor to the Singaporean government. The IRAS is mainly in charge of collecting taxes. It collects taxes, which account for around 70% of the government’s operating revenue that supports the nation’s economic and social programs. These programs are aimed at achieving an inclusive society and quality growth. All in all, the two main functions of the IRAS is to collect all types of taxes and act as a tax advisor to the state.

As a part of its public engagement, IRAS works with tax agents as partners in administering the Singapore tax system and in facilitating tax compliance. As the main tax authority under the Ministry of Finance, IRAS plays a crucial role in tax policy creation by providing policy inputs in addition to the technical and administrative implications of each policy. IRAS also actively monitors developments in external economic and tax environment to spot areas for policy review and changes. It aims to create a competitive tax environment, which fosters the growth of enterprises in the nation. Other non-revenue operations carried out by IRAS include representing the state in tax treaty negotiations, offering advice on property valuation and drafting of tax legislation.

Types of taxes that the IRAS deals with

Let’s take a look at some of the taxes that the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore deals with.

Please note that capital gains, inheritance and dividends are not taxed.

Some taxes such as Customs and Excise Duties and Water Conservation Tax are administered by other ministries and not the IRAS.

History of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

To manage the Income Tax Ordinance that was enacted earlier, the Singapore Income Tax Department was unveiled in 1947. The overall tax collected from 1 January 1948 to 31 December 1949 amounted to $33.2 million. Inland Revenue Department was created in 1960 when multiple revenues collected by multiple separate agencies were unified in one centralized place. This paved way for the creation of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.

In 1992, the IRAS was created by legislation as a statutory board under the authority of the Ministry of Finance. It look over the operations that were previously carried out by the Inland Revenue Department.

Structure of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

The IRAS is divided into multiple departments as it deals with both citizens and business organization. Below is a comprehensive flowchart representing the workflow division in the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.

How to deal with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore?

In order to find out your tax status, one (individuals and business organizations) must sign in to the IRAS personal account called as myTax Portal. Individuals logging in will need their SingPass ID, whereas business/companies accounts will require a CorpPass ID to log in.
It is also possible to connect your accounting software tool to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore. To do this, however, the accounting software you use should meet the technical requirements IRAS has set and must make it to this list of approved software meet the technical requirements that the IRAS has established. The software must also make it to this list of approved software applications. There are also other easy ways to manage accounting services in Singapore.

How to reach out to and connect with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore?

Alternatively, you can also call the IRAS hotline number, email them or visit the office. The helpline operating hours are from Mondays to Fridays – from 8 am to 5 pm (for all enquiries).

If you are looking to speak to a tax officer, then you can find all the relevant helpline numbers by clicking here. https://www.iras.gov.sg/irashome/Contact-Us/Call-us/

Individuals who want to enquire on business registration and business advisory matters can call the below listed numbers:

  • ACRA Helpdesk:

    6248 6028

  • Enterprise Infoline:

    6898 1800

  • CorpPass Helpdesk:

    6643 0577

You can also find answers to common questions by referring to the IRAS’s FAQ section at https://www.iras.gov.sg/irashome/Contact-Us/Call-us/.

In conclusion

Company formation in Singapore is becoming easier as the nation has continued to attract talent from around the globe by offering low personal tax rates. The main focus of the IRAS is to make the process of collecting taxes easy and help in boosting the nation’s economy. Singapore has been adopting several digital strategies to ease the burden of tax reporting to their citizens.

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