Dear Valued Customers,
New Coronavirus Declared a Global Emergency by World Health Organisation
We’re in our second month of the year and the world is rallying together to combat the new coronavirus, which the World Health Organisation has declared a global emergency. In Singapore, February 18 is the date to watch for the Singapore Budget Statement and potential relief measures to support businesses affected by the impact of the virus.
Singapore’s 2020 Budget Statement
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will deliver the Singapore Budget Statement 2020 on February 18. The budget is one to watch out for, as it is going to set the pace for Singapore’s strategic financial plan. The annual event is going to happen over live television and radio. The Singapore Budget website will be streaming a live webcast of the Budget Statement delivery.
The key areas to look out for in the upcoming Budget are plans to improve the livelihood of Singaporeans. Help with the cost of living is one of these much-anticipated measures. Businesses are also set to receive some help in terms of raising their productivity and ability to build new capabilities.
Tax Cuts and Rebates
Businesses in Singapore are concerned about the uncertain economic climate, especially with the impact of COVID-19. As such, businesses are seeking tax cuts and rebates in the Budget 2020. The reductions are rebates are to help upskill staff, which is one of the top two priorities of this year’s Budget. This is per the Singapore Business Federation (SBF)’s annual National Business Survey. The survey’s respondents were also seeking help and support in several other areas too. These include easier access to resources and information from government agencies and incentives for industry-related corporate venturing and training.
I was interviewed by Channel News Asia on the adoption of technology in accounting services. It followed the release of the Singapore Business Federation (SBF)’s annual National Business Survey 2019/2020. The SBF is proposing that a new development of supplier payment system be introduced to address the cash flow problems that many companies are facing because of late payments. The new initiative is part of SBF’s recommendations for Budget 2020 and aims to help companies process their payments much faster.
Addressing this concern during my interview with Channel News Asia, I highlighted the benefits of cloud-based accounting software that would help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) go digital and manage their cash flow better. Current Pay-Per-Use subscription models also meant that digital adoption is now a lot more affordable than ever. SMEs no longer need to incur high capital expenditure (or CapEx) before they can adopt and deploy such technology.
3E Accounting plans to continue with our investment in innovation and technology. We aim to design and develop cutting-edge automated solutions that will re-engineer traditional business processes and deliver customised business advisory and cloud-based solutions. This 2020, it is our aim to give our clients the best digital advantage and significant competitive edge so they can continue to thrive in Singapore’s dynamic business landscape.
The 3E Accounting in-house Digital Research & Development team is hard at work formulating our 3E Accounting Digital Master Plan. The plan is going to digitally transform businesses as Singapore continues to make its many great strides toward becoming a Smart Nation.
Protect Our Environment from COVID-19
To protect ourselves and our loved ones, all travellers should monitor your health closely for two weeks upon return to Singapore and seek medical attention promptly if you feel unwell. Travellers should inform your doctor of your travel history. If you have recently travelled and have a fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath), wear a mask and call the clinic ahead of your visit. For more information on how to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, refer to the Ministry of Health website.
Personal Income Tax Filing Season
Tax season is drawing closer and we’d like to take a quick moment to gently remind our clients that taxes must be filed by 15 April 2020. All annual personal taxes for the Year of Assessment 2020 must be filed with the Inland Revenue Authority Singapore (IRAS) by the April date.
If you are an employer, we would like to offer another gentle reminder that Form IR8A and Appendix 8A, Appendix 8B or Form IR8S must be prepared where applicable. This action must be completed for all your employees by 1 March annually.
Founder, 3E Accounting Group
Read More in our E-Newsletter February 2020.