Tax Alert 

KPMG's Tax Alert examines and discusses the recent tax developments in Singapore and the implications thereof.
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  • November 2015 - Issue 25 (PDF, 461KB) New
    Income Tax Treatment of Gains Derived from the Disposal of Investments of Insurers
    The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) issued an e-Tax Guide entitled “Income Tax: Tax Treatment of Gains Derived from the Disposal of Investments of Insurers” on 27 October 2015. The Guide sets out the Comptroller of Income Tax (CIT)’s position with respect to tax treatment of investments held by insurers pursuant to the CIT v BBO [2014] SGCA 10 (“BBO”) case.

    In the BBO case, the Singapore Court of Appeal (“the Court”) ruled on 4 February 2014 that insurers, in addition to holding investments as revenue assets, may also hold investments as capital assets under exceptional circumstances.

  • November 2015 - Issue 24 (PDF, 140KB) New
    What’s next for SMEs in 2016?
    It has been five years since the Government announced its long term economic strategy of improving productivity in Singapore. Latest figures from the Ministry of Manpower shows that the Republic’s employment numbers are falling, in line with the current economic restructuring, but part of that transition towards a manpower-lean economy driven by productivity is still stuck in reverse.

    Despite governmental efforts to boost productivity growth, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) figures showed that labour productivity has fallen for the third consecutive six-month period with the manufacturing, services and construction industries struggling to rise to the challenge of a tighter labour supply. Singapore’s overall productivity growth “is not likely to see a significant uplift this year”, noted the MOM, which projected that “some consolidation and exit of less-productive businesses is also expected” as the economy restructures.

  • November 2015 - Issue 23 (PDF, 149KB)
    Long journey ahead for OECD’s tax plan
    On Oct 5, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced new tax proposals under its Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan, which seeks to make sure that profits are taxed where the economic activity occurs. In some ways, the final OECD reports are a little bit of an anti-climax. Why is that? In the first place, the OECD admits it still has a lot of work to do and secondly, BEPS is really just starting.

    The reports are not the end. Rather, it is now up to various countries to implement actual laws to give effect to the OECD recommendations which, considering the political process which underlies BEPS, are not as definitive as many people might think.

  • November 2015 - Issue 22 (PDF, 590KB)
    What the AEC 2015 target means for businesses in ASEAN?
    Lately, there has been much abuzz in the media about the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015 target. The business community has largely perceived that the AEC will produce a ‘big bang’ and usher in a new era of totally open business environment in the ASEAN region, similar to the formation of the European Union.

    The truth is economic integration is a complex agenda with many challenges. It has never been the intention of the ASEAN to set up AEC as a Customs Union, which means that, while goods can move freely within the ten Member States, each Member State determines its external tariff policy vis-à-vis non-Member States.

  • October
  • October 2015 - Issue 21 (PDF, 177KB)
    New Tax Treatment –Non-resident Employees on Business Trips to Singapore
    Effective 1 January 2016, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) will implement a new tax treatment for non-resident employees who are based outside Singapore and travel to Singapore for business.

    The new tax treatment will mean that employers do not need to report the non-taxable subsistence allowance (inclusive of acceptable rate for per diem and accommodation provided) for non-resident employees on business trips.

  • October 2015 - Issue 20 (PDF, 132KB)
    Technology and innovation key to growth and profit
    From our travel and commute options to our vacations to the way we seek new relationships, technology has given us a breadth of choices and made access to them easier. All around us, we can see industries which have been or are in the process of being disrupted.

    Perhaps what is less obvious is not how being "online" has changed retail, but rather the conceptual change behind retail which technology has made possible. Digital technology is therefore the great competitive leveller. Just as the rise of social media has changed how we interact with people, rapid advances in digital technologies are also bringing upon us changes in how we work, and gradually change our global business environment.

  • October 2015 - Issue 19 (PDF, 341KB)
    Transfer Pricing in Singapore & Conteemporaneous Documentation
    With just over a month to go before the November 30th filing due date for transfer pricing documentation, it is perhaps appropriate to recapitulate and provide an update of transfer pricing developments over the course of 2015.

    On 6 January 2015, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) released significantly expanded transfer pricing guidance (TPG) for Singapore taxpayers. The new guidance spans over100 pages, and is an update and expansion of all the transfer pricing-related circulars and guides released by IRAS since 2006.

  • October 2015 - Issue 18 (PDF, 325KB)
    Signed Trans-Pacific Partnership kicks off further trade liberalisation in the Asia Pacific region
    After years of negotiations, the 12 countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have signed the historic trade deal on 5 October. Together, the countries span across large swathes of the Americas and the Asia Pacific, accounting for nearly 40 percent of global GDP.

    What is next? Looking at the next 3 to 5 years, is the TPP going to significantly impact the industrial footprint and supply chain planning of companies operating in Singapore and the Asia Pacific?

  • October 2015 - Issue 17 (PDF, 201KB)
    OECD-G20 Final BEPS Action Plan Deliverables - KPMG response
    The final deliverables for the OECD-G20 Action Plan were released on 5 October 2015. We provide a brief summary for you in the form of 14 'On a pages', representing one for each action item (with conflation of the transfer pricing actions), plus a summary page

  • September