Tax has long been a tool to influence behaviour towards desirable economic goals. The fundamental principle of Singapore’s tax policy is to keep tax rates competitive so as to retain our position as an attractive and substantive investment hub. Despite already having one of the lowest corporate income tax rates in the world, currently at 17%, Singapore still offers a wide range of incentives to attract foreign investments. Generally, the tax incentives available are in the forms of either a tax exemption, reduced tax rate or tax allowance, subject to stringent qualifying conditions. In effect, these incentives help companies from a broad spectrum of industries lower their effective tax rates. However, in light of recent global tax development, Singapore’s tax incentive regime has come under public scrutiny and sparked debate on whether Singapore is a tax haven. On completion of this programme, participants should be able to obtain an understanding of:
- The tax incentive environment in Singapore, including summary data about the available incentive schemes and the broad requirements to qualify, and
- Global tax developments and its implications on Singapore’s incentive policy.
1. Overview of Singapore’s tax incentive environment
- Objectives of Singapore’s tax policy
- Role of tax incentives
- Underlying principles of tax incentives
2. Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)
- Overview of BEPS
- Where does Singapore stand?
- BEPS Action 5: Countering harmful tax practices more effectively
- Is Singapore a preferential tax regime?
3. Key tax incentives in Singapore
- Summary data about the available incentives schemes, its objective(s) and the broad requirements to qualify
- How can my business benefit from tax incentives?
- Case studies
4. Tax incentive related issues
- Common administrative and accounting related problems during incentive period
- Cost-benefit analysis for incentive application
- Incentive compliance framework
5. Tax incentive application process
- Tax incentive application process
- Importance of tax incentive negotiation
- Common pitfalls to avoid during tax incentive negotiation
6. Moving forward: Singapore’s value-creating economy
- Singapore’s future value proposition: value creation
- Implications for the future of Singapore’s tax incentive regime