Singapore's total tax revenue up 5% to S$47 billion for year ended March 31: Iras

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore's tax collection accounts for 68.2 per cent of the Government operating revenue (GOR), according to Iras annual report 2016/17 on Thursday, Aug 24, 2017.
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore's tax collection accounts for 68.2 per cent of the Government operating revenue (GOR), according to Iras annual report 2016/17 on Thursday, Aug 24, 2017. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The taxman raked in S$47 billion in tax revenue in the fiscal year 2016, about 5 per cent more than a year earlier, thanks to the expansion of Singapore's economy by 2 per cent last year and the low unemployment rate.

According to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) annual report 2016/17 on Thursday (Aug 24), its tax collection accounts for 68.2 per cent of the Government operating revenue (GOR).

This amount accounted for 11.3 per cent of Singapore's gross domestic product (GDP), or economic output.

Income tax comprising corporate income tax, individual income tax and withholding tax made up 54 per cent of Iras' collection for the 12 months ended March 31, this year.

The amount collected was S$1.1 billion over the previous financial year, owing to higher collection from individual income tax.

Individual income tax jumped 14 per cent or S$1.3 billion - the result of higher individual earnings and cessation of one-off personal rebates given in year of assessment 2015.

But corporate income tax decreased marginally by 1.6 per cent to S$13.6 billion from the previous financial year.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection rose to S$11.1 billion from S$10.3 billion a year earlier, while property tax collection decreased by 2.1 per cent to S$4.4 billion. Stamp duty collection increased by 18.4 per cent to $3.3 billion due to a higher number of property transactions.

Betting taxes comprising betting duty, casino tax and private lotteries duty amounted to S$2.7 billion, 1.4 per cent lower than a year earliero.

The cost of collection remained low at 0.84 cents for every dollar collected.

Tax compliance in Singapore remained high and tax arrears was kept low at 0.68 per cent of net tax assessed.

Singapore's taxpayers continued to file and pay on time, contributing to a 96.7 per cent-high on-time filing rate by individuals, and 83.2 per cent-high on-time filing rate by companies.

In full year 2016/17, Iras uncovered 10,626 non-compliant cases and recovered about S$332 million in taxes and penalties through rigorous audits and investigations.

Iras' collection comprises a mix of direct and indirect taxes - taxes on income, GST, property tax, stamp duty and betting taxes. Other sources of the GOR include customs and excise duties, taxes on motor vehicles, vehicle quota premiums, other taxes, fees, charges and receipts.