Aug 26, 2014

    Tax collections hit all-time high of $41.6b

    THE taxman raked in record tax revenue last financial year as tax arrears fell to an all-time low.

    Total tax collected for the 12 months to March 31 climbed to an all-time high of $41.6 billion, according to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore's (Iras') latest annual report out yesterday.

    That is 0.5 per cent higher than the $41.4 billion collected in the previous financial year.

    More people made it to the million-dollar club, with 4,231 earning assessable income of more than $1 million each, up slightly from the 4,220 people who made the cut in the previous year.

    Their combined income came to $8.04 billion, as they paid $1.48 billion in income tax, lower than the previous year's batch with a total income of $8.06 billion and paying $1.49 billion tax.

    A further 13,714 people earned between $500,000 and $1 million each, up from 12,921 people in the previous year.

    Taxpayers also became more compliant, paying up on time and filing their returns punctually.

    Tax arrears fell to a record low of 0.77 per cent of the total net tax assessed, from 0.79 per cent previously.

    On-time tax filing, meanwhile, improved to 95.6 per cent for individuals, up from 94 per cent previously, while 82.5 per cent of companies filed promptly, up from 80.9 per cent previously.

    Iras said that its ongoing efforts to make the system simple and convenient for taxpayers have helped lift voluntary compliance.

    It expanded the no-filing service to 1.23 million taxpayers, including 15,000 first-time taxpayers, for this year's tax filing season. This is where a taxpayer will get their tax bill without having to submit an income tax return.

    Iras is also further simplifying tax matters for small businesses by allowing eligible firms to do away with physical invoices and receipts with effect from next year's Year of Assessment.

    But some still fell afoul of the rules, with Iras uncovering a total of 15,233 non-compliant cases and recovering about $387 million in taxes and penalties.

    "While we actively promote voluntary compliance, we continue to deter non-compliance and establish a strong presence," said Tan Kim Siew, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, in a statement.

    "By balancing tough measures to recover outstanding taxes with softer methods to encourage voluntary compliance, we help the majority of taxpayers in Singapore pay their fair share of taxes."