Iras rolls out new initiatives to help companies file taxes more easily

The new system by Iras will benefit around 60,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises this year. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Smaller companies will be able to file taxes more easily this year, with new initiatives rolled out by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras), it said on Thursday (Nov 5).

These include a simplified tax form, called Form C-S (Lite), with fewer fields to fill in, and a system that allows direct filing from firms' accounting software.

Iras is also set to roll out digitised notices for companies.

The new form will benefit around 60,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) this year.

It requires companies with straightforward tax matters to complete only six essential fields, such as their revenue and net profit or loss- a third of the fields they previously had to fill. These companies will also be exempt from submitting their financial statements and tax computations to Iras, but should still prepare these documents in case Iras requests for them.

Firms with an annual revenue of $200,000 or below can use this new form, subject to other criteria.

With more tax procedures going digital, companies can also pay their taxes using PayNow QR, and get real-time updates on any outstanding balances.

From mid next year, Iras will also introduce PayNow Corporate as a new e-refund option for companies, on top of Giro and telegraphic transfers. This means companies will be able to receive their tax refunds within seven days from the credit arising.

To be eligible for this refund mode, companies must link their Unique Entity Number to their corporate bank account via Internet banking.

Iras in August introduced a digital solution incorporated into dedicated accounting software that will allow SMEs with annual revenue of $5 million or below to seamlessly file their taxes to Iras and their annual returns to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra).

The software automates the preparation and filing of statutory returns, and saves the firms time while minimises reporting errors.

Iras and Acra partnered accounting software providers to incorporate regulatory filing requirements into their software.

The digital solution is now available with Netiquette O2O Business Suite and SMECEN software, and will eventually roll out in AutoCount Accounting, Deskera ERP and Realtimme Cloud Solutions.

Some 200,000 SMEs can potentially benefit from this enhanced software, which firms can also tap on the Productivity Solutions Grant to purchase.

"By digitising their financial records through an accounting software, SMEs can also ensure that they have convenient access to essential information required to make effective business decisions," Iras said.

Iras will also phase out paper notices and ensure that most notices will be digitised from May next year.

This will allow firms to instantly access notices anytime, receive e-mail notifications when a notice is ready for viewing and see the past three years' worth of notices online.

E-filing is compulsory from this year, and all companies, including those with no business activities or those in a loss position, have to e-file their corporate income tax returns by Dec 15.

E-filing began in 2018 and was rolled out in phases. This year, more than 170,000 companies who were not in the previous compulsory e-filing groups are required to do so.

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