Welcome to our E-Newsletter December 2013
PART 1 TAXATION
The Singapore Institute of Accredited Tax Professionals (SIATP) has issued the new Tax Alerts on Tax News since the previous issue of the 3E E-Newsletter.
The few key alerts are highlighted as below:
> 95% of Owner-Occupied Homes to Pay Lower Property Tax in 2014 (26 Nov 2013)
> Research and Development Tax Measures (6 Nov 2013)
PART 2 REGULATORY & BUSINESS
AMENDMENTS TO THE EMPLOYMENT ACT
Most of the changes, unless otherwise stated, will take effect on 1 April 2014.
Key changes included
The salary threshold for non-workmen, such as clerical staff and frontline service staff, to be covered under the working hours-related provisions (Part IV) of the EA will be raised from a basic monthly salary of $2,000 to $2,500, in line with increases in salary levels. This will benefit about 150,000 workers.
In addition to the salary protection currently accorded to them, PMEs earning a basic monthly salary of up to $4,500 will be covered under the general provisions of the EA, including sick leave benefits and protection against unfair dismissal. This will benefit about 300,000 PMEs.
The penalty for failure to pay salary in accordance with the EA will be raised. A first-time offence will be liable to a fine of between $3,000 and $15,000 and/or 6 months’ jail. A subsequent offence will be liable to a fine of between $6,000 and $30,000 and/or 12 months’ jail.
For more information, please refer to Amendments to the Employment Act
PART 3 FINANCIAL REPORTING
DELAY IN LAUNCH OF BIZFINX PORTAL
We regret that due to technical issues encountered in the deployment phase of BizFinx portal, our vendor has informed us that the launch date of the BizFinx portal will be postponed to a date to be announced. Provisions have been made for companies required to file their financial statements during this period, to use any of the following filing options in the Annual Return form in the BizFile system:
(a) Full PDF format (Option C) – select “Other companies which have been approved by ACRA”, with the date of approval as “1 December 2013” and reason stated as “Transitional arrangement for BizFinx launch”;
(b) Partial XBRL format (Option B) – using FS Manager tool
(c) Full XBRL format (Option A) – using FS Manager tool
We will provide two weeks’ notice before the new BizFinx portal will be ready for launch, whereupon the above filing options will no longer be available.
Please refer to Delay in Launch of BizFinx portal for more information.
PUBLIC ALERT: LETTER/EMAIL REQUESTING VERIFICATION OF COMPANY INFORMATION
An entity calling itself “Singapore Company Register” has been emailing or writing to companies requesting them to verify their company details with it. The letter or email also claims that companies which fail to do so, will have their information deleted from the ‘Singaporean Company Register database’ within a week of the date of the notice.
ACRA has no links whatsoever to this entity and is currently investigating this matter.
Companies who need to update their records with ACRA, should do so through ACRA’s online filing and information retrieval system – BizFile.
If in doubt, companies can contact ACRA at: 62486028
Public Consultation on ACRA (Amendment) Bill and key policies in the ACRA (Service Providers) Regulations
The public are invited to provide feedback …on the draft ACRA (Amendment) Bill and key policies in the new Regulations that will enhance the regulatory framework for corporate service providers (CSPs). The public consultation exercise will run from 7 November to 6 December 2013.
New Regulations will be drafted to set out details of the CSP-related provisions that are in the ACRA Act. These Regulations will elaborate on the obligations that registered filing agents and qualified individuals have to comply with in order to meet the revised FATF Recommendations as well as other regulatory requirements.