All firms can now e-file tax returns

All companies, regardless of revenue, can file income tax returns electronically. Previously, e-filing was available only to companies with annual revenue of less than $1 million.

Small companies have been keen to adopt the process since it was introduced in 2012, with about 10 per cent more choosing to e-file each year, said the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras).

Of the 84,900 small companies that filed their tax returns last year, 41 per cent opted for e-filing, compared with 22 per cent in 2012.

Companies can now go fully paperless on tax matters, including the filing of goods and services tax returns, corporate income tax returns and withholding tax.

They can enjoy the benefits of reduced compliance costs and productivity gains, said Iras.

"All companies and tax agents can now enjoy such benefits and avoid the hassle of filing a thick stack of paper returns," it added.

Tax agents who had previously e-filed or participated in the pilot run of e-filing for bigger companies reported reaping cost savings due to a reduction in printing and courier charges.

"There is no time or place constraint. Clients are not required to submit original signed tax return, while tax agents are allowed to e-file return at any time as the e-filing system is available 24 hours a day," said Ms Doris Foo, tax director of management consultancy Pioneer Associates.

"E-filing simplifies the tax return filing process and eliminates the stress of having to work around the client's travel schedule in getting the finalised tax return signed before the client travels," she added.

Other benefits include an extension until Dec 15 instead of the Nov 30 deadline, help in the form of formulas that auto-fill certain fields and an estimate of tax payable.

All firms have to file their income tax returns by Nov 30 even if there was no business done, as long as they have received the Form C or Form C-S package, said Iras.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2015, with the headline 'All firms can now e-file tax returns'. Print Edition | Subscribe