MOF invites feedback on income tax changes, including higher rates for top earners

The reforms involve increasing the top marginal personal income tax rate from the year of assessment 2024. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Finance Ministry is seeking feedback on proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act that include higher levies for top earners.

The reforms, which were announced in this year's Budget, involve increasing the top marginal personal income tax rate from the year of assessment 2024 - which is for income earned from Jan 1, 2023, to Dec 31, 2023.

A resident with chargeable income from $500,000 to $1 million will be taxed at 23 per cent, while income in excess of $1 million will be slugged at 24 per cent.

This is up from the current 22 per cent levied on chargeable income over $320,000. Income from $320,000 to $500,000 will continue to be taxed at 22 per cent.

Resident taxpayers refer to Singapore citizens and permanent residents who live here except for temporary absences, as well as foreigners who stay or work for 183 days or more in the year preceding the year of assessment.

The increase is expected to affect the top 1.2 per cent of personal income taxpayers and will raise $170 million of additional tax revenue a year, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong noted in February's Budget speech.

Certain income of non-resident taxpayers will also be taxed at 24 per cent, in line with the top marginal tax rate for resident taxpayers.

Non-residents' employment income is taxed at a flat rate of 15 per cent or the progressive resident tax rates, whichever is higher.

The changes are among eight proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act announced in the Budget.

Other possible changes include measures to facilitate the disclosure of company-related information for official duties.

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) will be able to disclose taxpayers' information, with their consent, to a public officer or an authorised person engaged by the Government or a statutory board so that they can perform their duties.

This is now allowed only for administering a written law or public scheme.

The amendments would also allow Iras to disclose a prescribed list of identifiable information on companies to public sector agencies without requiring the taxpayer's consent.

This information will not be disclosed to anyone outside the public sector, even if they are engaged by the Government or a statutory board.

The proposed amendments also provide for 15 changes to existing tax policies and administration arising from periodic reviews of the system.

The public can access the consultation documents, including the draft Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2022, on the Ministry of Finance website and government feedback unit Reach's consultation portal.

They can use the prescribed template to submit their comments by July 6.

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