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Why Set Up Investment Holding Company in Singapore?
Among the thriving economies in the region, Singapore provides countless opportunities for those looking for sound investments. Apart from it’s huge tourism industry, this island city-state is among the world’s most modern cities and a major financial hub in Asia. Its stock market alone is estimated to be worth over $470 billion. Apart from tourism, Singapore also has a large shipping, real state and financial services industry.
Singapore’s port is the world’s busiest in terms of total shipping tonnage and is just second to Shanghai in total cargo tonnage. In fact, according to the International Monetary Fund, Singapore is among the wealthiest countries in the world, along with the ranks of Luxembourg and Qatar in terms of economic output per head. So, if you are looking for somewhere to invest, Singapore is surely a great place, with a strong emerging economy and also a prime location for trade and business. Another plus point is the country has an excellent literacy rate, low crime and corruption and no drug problems. All this makes this nation among the premiere countries in the world for investment opportunities. Apart from the reasons mentioned here, let’s take a look at what else Singapore has to offer:
No Capital Gain Tax
Singapore offers investors a host of incentives, including tax incentives for qualifying funds. These treaties, along with low income tax rates and zero capital gain tax makes Singapore very attractive to investors. The most common capital gains are realised from the sale of stocks, bonds, precious metals and properties. Also, the Monetary Authority of Singapore has been keeping pace with global regulatory standards which helps inspire confidence in investors looking for a dependable place to put their money.
Low Corporate Tax Rate
The Singapore Tax Authority plays an important role in helping the nation develop a better environment and a vibrant economy. With effect from the year of assessment 2010, a company, regardless if it is local or foreign, enjoys a flat corporate tax rate of 17 per cent. This rate is among the lowest in the world and greatly helps draw investors to the country. What’s more, you pay 0% for the first earned 100k SGD (during first 3 consecutive years)!
Dividend Income Tax Exemption
Dividends are profits one receives from his or her share of ownership in a company. Such dividends may be paid out in cash or in kind. For example, a company may pay its shareholders dividends in the form of company shares. In Singapore, as part of the country’s ongoing efforts to draw investors, dividends paid on or after Jan 1, 2008, by a Singapore resident company are exempted from tax under the one-tier corporate tax system, which means shareholders will not be taxed on income from dividends.
Many Double Taxation Agreements established
The nation has double taxation agreements (DTA) with more than 70 countries which provide a great advantage over other traditional choices.
The DTA also provides for reduction or exemption of tax on certain types of income. Only Singapore tax residents and tax residents of the treaty partner can enjoy the benefits of a DTA. To find out who is our treaty partners, please refer to the List of Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements.
Foreign Tax Credit (FTC) Pooling System
Singapore’s FTC pooling system provides a distinct benefit. The system was introduced with effect from YA 2012 with the objective of providing businesses greater flexibility in using their foreign tax credit and to simplify tax compliance. The system reduced the tax liability on the foreign income received in Singapore.
Without the pooling system, any FTC for a particular stream of foreign income that is in excess of Singapore tax payable is disregarded and cannot be used to offset the Singapore tax payable on another source of foreign income that is subject to tax in Singapore. The pooling system allows FTC to be computed on a pooled basis, rather than on a source-by-source and country-by-country basis for each particular stream of income. The amount of FTC to be granted will be based on the lower of the pooled foreign taxes paid on the foreign income and the pooled Singapore tax payable on such foreign income.
Singaporean businesses might benefit from the industry-specific and investment-related tax incentives made available by the government.
Pioneer Certificate Incentive (PC) and Development and Expansion Incentive (DEI)
The Pioneer Certificate Incentive (PC) and the Development and Expansion Incentive (DEI) aim to encourage companies to grow capabilities and conduct new or expanded economic activities in Singapore. Companies that carry out global or regional headquarters (HQ) activities of managing, coordinating and controlling business activities for a group of companies may also apply for the PC or DEI for the HQ activities.
An approved company under the PC or DEI is eligible for a corporate tax exemption or a concessionary tax rate of 5% or 10%, respectively, on income derived from qualifying activities.
The incentive period is limited to five years. Extension of the incentive may be considered, subject to the company’s commitment to undertake further expansion plans.
No Inheritance Tax
Inheritance tax is paid by a person who inherits money or property or a levy on the estate (money and property) of a person who has died. Also called estate duty, it includes everything owned in a person’s sole name and the deceased person’s share of assets owned jointly with others. Inheritance tax has been removed for deaths on or after Feb 15, 2008.
Great Political System
The political system in Singapore offers investors a high degree of predictability. It is a system that sets regulations using a rational, pro-business approach, which in turn gives investors great confidence in the Singapore market. The country also has high disclosure standards and transparency which leads to good corporate governance. Also, Singapore enjoys a “AAA” credit rating and the Singapore Dollar remains a stable and strong currency.
Great Labour Force
One of the key ingredients for a successful business is a productive and reliable workforce. This is something Singapore has and since the country is primarily a knowledge-based economy, its manpower force is educated and professionally qualified. In fact, as an added inducement to draw investments, Singapore boasts the “Best Labour Force in the World” in his latest rankings. Its workforce if recognised as one with a high level of education, high productivity, technical proficiency, work-hard and work-smart culture.
Good Quality of Life
One of the main concerns for anyone looking to set up businesses and relocate to Singapore is the well-being and quality of life for their families. Overall, there is no cause for concern as Singapore provides excellent public and private transport, top quality healthcare, safe and healthy living environment, excellent education and an endless selection of cultural and educational opportunities.
Singapore has lots to offer from an investment standpoint and should definitely be among the options investors should consider. Regardless if you are a seasoned investor or just starting out, Singapore will surely have something to offer. See more information at Tax Planning for Investment Property in Singapore.