1.5 million taxpayers use Giro to pay taxes

More than 1.5 million taxpayers now have their taxes deducted directly from their bank accounts, instead of paying by cash or cheque, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) said in a statement on Saturday.

Some 12.9 million tax payment transactions, which add up to $27 billion of Singapore's annual tax revenue, are made through the General Interbank Recurring Order (Giro).

Those who were already paying for their income tax and property tax using Giro, and who signed up to do so during the campaign participated in three yearly lucky draws from 2011 to 2013. A grand lucky draw was held on Saturday to end the three-year campaign started by Iras in 2010 to promote Giro payment.

More than 300,000 people signed up to pay their taxes through Giro at the end of the campaign. This brought the total number of taxpayers using Giro to 1.5 million.

MP Jessica Tan, chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Finance, Trade and Industry who was guest-of-honour at the event held at the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio park, encouraged taxpayers to make the switch from paying by cash or cheques to Giro, as it is more "cost effective".

There is a $2.86 annual average collection cost for a Giro taxpayer, about half of the $5.32 of that for cash and cheque taxpayers.