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IRAS collects record-high S$43.4b in taxes

SINGAPORE — The Government collected more tax in the latest financial year (FY), thanks to higher individual earnings, improved corporate profits and moderate growth in private consumption expenditure.

Source: Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

Source: Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

Singapore

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SINGAPORE — The Government collected more tax in the latest financial year (FY), thanks to higher individual earnings, improved corporate profits and moderate growth in private consumption expenditure.

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) collected a record S$43.4 billion in FY14/15, 4.4 per cent or S$1.8 billion more than the year before. The sum collected represents 71.3 per cent of the Government Operating Revenue, and 11.1 per cent of Singapore’s gross domestic product, said IRAS, which released these figures in its annual report today (Sept 23).

Over half the tax revenue (54 per cent) came from income tax collection, which includes corporate income tax, individual income tax and withholding tax, totalling S$23.4 billion. Individual income tax collection rose 16 per cent because of higher earnings, while corporate income tax collection rose by 5.4 per cent.

Moderate growth in private consumption expenditure drove a 7.4 per cent increase in Goods and Services Tax collection, from S$9.5 billion to S$10.2 billion in FY14/15.

Cooling measures for the property market continued to make their presence felt, with stamp duty collection decreasing to S$2.8 billion from S$3.9 billion in the last FY, as the volume of property transactions shrank.

Betting tax revenue increased by 8.9 per cent to S$2.6 billion. The IRAS said this is because of higher collections from the upward revision of the Betting Duty from July 1 last year.

Tax arrears remained low at 0.81 per cent of total net tax assessed, the IRAS said. And tapping business analytics, the IRAS said it had “more effectively” audited and investigated 12,866 tax evasion and fraud cases, and recovered more than S$457 million in taxes and penalties.

An average of 90 per cent of taxpayers filed and submitted their taxes on time, and the agency attributed the high level of voluntary tax payment to the introduction of a feature that gives taxpayers an instant estimate of their tax liabilities at the point of filing their returns. For companies, the online submission of income tax returns — extended to all companies in June — helped in corporate tax reporting.

The cost of tax collection was kept low, at under one cent for every dollar of tax collected.

Mr Tan Tee How, commissioner of Inland Revenue and chief executive of IRAS, said: “Taxpayers are supporting nation-building by filing and paying on time. We will continue to simplify the tax rules and filing and payment processes, thereby enhancing voluntary compliance.”

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