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GST was first implemented on 1 April 1994, modelled off the UK VAY and New Zealand GST. It is meant to lower personal and corporate tax rates while contributing to a revenue base for the government. GST is a consumption tax that is applicable to the import of goods into Singapore and supply of goods and services in Singapore. GST is currently charged at the rate of 7%. As a GST registered business, the business will need to charge GST on all sales of goods and services that are made in Singapore.

As a business, the business has to register for GST when your taxable turnover exceeds $1 million (IRAS). You can also voluntarily register for GST.

Exemptions where GST does not need to be charged will apply only to the above categories (broad guideline): financial services, digital payment tokens, sale and lease of residential properties and importation and local supply of investment precious metals.

Zero rates are considered as taxable supplies and applicable for exported goods and international services.


Charging GST and submitting your returns

The GST registrant must charge GST, which is then referred to as output tax that is paid to IRAS. GST from business purchases and expenses is known as input tax and can be claimed.

GST returns must be submitted one month after the end of the accounting period. Most firms do it quarterly. Both types of output and input taxes must be reported.


Corporate accountants and their job scope

Corporate accounts specialise more in business accounting and help to maintain the organisation’s financial records so that the organisation is compliant with existing laws, regulations and policies within the organisation itself. The corporate accountant’s work is also usable for board members and executives to make better financial decisions for the organisation. Corporate accountants can be both outsourced or in house. Corporate accountants are able to prepare and consolidate financial statements and ledgers, be involved in budget preparation, financial planning and analysis and providing the management with useful information and brief commentaries on financials to calibrate their financial goals for the organisation. As a result, they have varied responsibilities to shoulder.


Why do businesses need corporate accountants?

The corporate accountant’s role in the business is deemed an important and essential one as they deal with financial matters such as helping companies to track income and expenditures and ensure statutory compliance


Corporate tax services in Singapore

Most corporate accountants are able to offer a wide range of services. An example of a range would include:

  • General accounting and tax

This includes statutory filing and management reporting requirements that are mandated by local government bodies. Services under this category include book-keeping and preparing the firm’s year end financial statements, corporate tax return preparations and filing, employee payroll including leave and claims management, goods and services (GST) tax filing services and personal tax filing for directors or sole proprietors.

  • Company incorporation and registration

This category of services includes a flow from incorporation to business registration services and corporate bank account opening services. A detailed overlook of this set of services includes company registration, company secretarial services, compliance support for agreement with ACRA’s statutory obligations, services for directors, including of a Singapore registered address, administration and housekeeping services, the licensing of the business and also being a process agent.

  • Immigration

The corporate accountant is able to advise more about and help to support any immigration applications and moving of staff from various countries to enable the business owner and employees to function well as a unit. Services that are under this category include: employment pass application and renewal, permanent residence application, dependent and long term visit pass application and renewal, applications for citizenship/new citizen and entrepreneur pass application or renewals.

  • Data protection

Corporate accountants are able to offer a wide range of outsourced data protection services in regulation with operational requirements and tailor these to meet Singapore’s data protection obligations as required. The services that corporate accountants are able to offer are outsourced data protection officers, annual comprehensive data protection consultancy and implementation, cybersecurity management and damage management for any occurring cyber incidents.

  • Employee HR and Payroll

For larger companies it can be difficult to manage the payroll of thousands of employees and the corporate accountant’s role is to facilitate the management of the employee payroll by tabulating leave, expense claims and management system. Services under this bracket would include submission of generated files, doing salary calculations, computations and prompt payments of salaries, generating leavers pay calculation, personal tax return computation and preparation, the computation of employee benefits, expense claim reimbursements.


Understanding the rules and regulations surrounding GST and Corporate Taxation can be difficult for most new business owners, and even seasoned ones to grasp. This is where a trained dedicated accountant to settle your yearly filings may come in helpful and help you to save time and resources that would otherwise be spent figuring out the little details.