Dear Valued Clients,
Welcome to our E-Newsletter March 2019
We hope you had a great February!
Last month, the Heritage Foundation’s 2019 index of economic freedom revealed that Singapore retained its place as the 2nd freest economy in Asia Pacific with a freedom score of 89.4. Though Singapore trails behind Hong Kong, Singapore has seen improvement with its overall score inched up by 0.6 points, closing the gap to become the leader.
The latest achievement as the 2nd freest economy is a strong testimony that Singapore is a highly developed free market economy. Among many others, Singapore’s open and corruption-free business environment, sound monetary and fiscal policy, transparent legal framework and robust investment climate, are the important factors that drive the success. Indeed, our Singaporean government has continued to promote economic growth with the proactive industrial policy and fiscal incentives.
Singapore Budget 2019: What is Cooking?
The Singapore budget surplus for 2019 hit $2.1b, or 0.4% of GDP. Finance minister, Heng Swee Keat, has revealed the expansionary Budget 2019 with the goal of building a resilient Singapore against heightening global economic uncertainties.
The Singapore Budget 2019 has included higher spending on defence and security, allocated $6.1b in the investment of Merdeka Generation Package (MGP), and diesel tax hike, are the latest measurements to be implemented. On top of that, the launch and extension of initiatives (like Scale-up SG programme and Automation Support Package (ASP)) will continue as part of the strategy to build the digital capabilities of SMEs.
The tightened policy on foreign manpower has caught the attention of many. The foreign worker dependency ratio ceiling has been revised from the current 40% to 38% on January 1, 2020 and to 35% on January 1, 2021.
3 Key Changes in GST
As the year 2019 begins, Singapore’s tax environment has seen some changes in GST. With effect from 1 January 2019, 3 key changes will be reflected in Singapore’s GST: Customer Accounting, Hand Carried Exports Scheme (HCES), and the GST Registration Rules.
Leases in Singapore Now Have New Accounting Standard
With effect from 1 January 2019, Implementation of IFRS 16 in Singapore IFRS 16 is mandatorily effective and will replace the existing IAS 17 (and its related interpretations). Please note that the new IFRS 16 is applicable to annual reporting periods, which commence either on or after 1 January 2019. Under the new Standard, lessees are no longer subjected to the classification of leases.
Reminder on Personal Income Tax Filing Season
Our tax season is around the corner. Please be reminded that you have to file annual personal tax returns for Year 2018 with IRAS by 15 April 2019. If you are an employer, you will also need to prepare Form IR8A and Appendix 8A, Appendix 8B or Form IR8S, where applicable, for all your staff by 1 March each year.
The changing pace of today’s society is rapid and we, as a company, have to keep up and be innovative. I am thankful to the management team and all 3E Accounting’s professionals for their extraordinary efforts and performance to improve our company. Thank you for your continued confidence in us.
Read More in our E-Newsletter March 2019.