8 in 10 taxpayers will have income tax returns pre-filled in 2023; higher penalties for late filers

This comes as more than 100,000 employers qualify for the Auto-Inclusion Scheme for employment income. ST FILE PHOTO

SINGAPORE – About eight in 10 income taxpayers – more than two million individuals in Singapore – will have their tax returns pre-filled in 2023, as initiatives are rolled out to streamline the process.

This comes as more than 100,000 employers qualify for the Auto-Inclusion Scheme for Employment Income – the highest number since the programme was launched – which allows employees to enjoy pre-filled tax returns, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) said on Friday.

It reminded employers to submit their employees’ income information by March 1.

About 1.7 million taxpayers, or seven in 10, who are eligible for the No-Filing Service (NFS) do not need to file an income tax return, but are required to verify the accuracy of their auto-included income information and check their eligibility for tax reliefs claimed.

Of the 1.7 million taxpayers on the NFS, some 150,000 will come under the Direct Notice of Assessment initiative.

This means that instead of receiving a filing notice first, they will get their tax bills directly, with their income information automatically included and tax reliefs pre-filled.

Taxpayers can still make changes to their income or relief details upon receiving their bills by filing an amendment on Iras’ online portal within 30 days from the date of their tax bill.

Employers under the Auto-Inclusion Scheme who file their taxes late will face increased penalties in 2023, with a maximum fine of $5,000, up from $1,000 previously.

Key individuals in non-compliant businesses, such as company directors or partners, may also face a fine of up to $10,000 or a jail term of up to 12 months.

In 2022, nine in 10 qualifying employers on the scheme had filed by the March 1 deadline, Iras said, adding that those who failed to do so were subject to penalties or prosecution.

Taxpayers are required to file their tax returns by April 18, with 19 in 20 people doing so by the deadline in 2022. Those who do not file on time may face a fine of up to $5,000.

“Taxpayers are encouraged to file online from March 1 and avoid last-minute filing,” Iras said.

The tax authority also urged taxpayers to be vigilant against phishing scams and not be deceived by fake SMSes, e-mails and WhatsApp messages. More details on its scam and fraud advisory can be found on its website.

Taxpayers who need assistance with filing their taxes can contact Iras digitally, such as via e-mail on Iras’ myTax Portal, or make an appointment to visit Revenue House in Newton at least two working days in advance.

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