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Tax arrears at a record low, with more filing taxes on time: IRAS

More individuals, companies filed taxes on time last year, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore says. A total of 15,233 non-compliant cases were uncovered and about S$387 million in taxes and penalties recovered in FY2013/14. 

SINGAPORE: On-time tax return filing rates have improved across all tax types, and tax arrears here are at a "record low", the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) said on Monday (Aug 25).

In its annual report for the Financial Year (FY) 2013/14, IRAS said that on-time tax filing improved from 94 per cent to 95.6 per cent for individuals, while that statistic for companies also improved, from 80.9 per cent to 82.5 per cent. More GST-registered businesses - 93.9 per cent, up from 93.4 per cent last year - also filed their taxes on time, it added.

Tax arrears are at a record low of 0.77 per cent of the total net tax assessed, the agency said.

The agency said its efforts to make things simple and convenient for taxpayers have helped raise the voluntary compliant level of Singapore's taxpayers. Its No-Filing Service was expanded to 1.23 million taxpayers, including 15,000 first-time taxpayers for the 2014 tax filing season, it said.

For businesses, those that chose to switch to e-Filing the Simplified Form C (Form C-S) via IRAS' website are now less prone to errors since they will be prompted to correct them before filing their tax returns, the agency said.

IRAS added that to further simplify tax matters for small businesses, eligible small businesses will no longer need to keep physical invoices and receipts with effect from Year of Assessment 2015.

USE OF TECHNOLOGY TO DETER NON-COMPLIANCE

Besides lowering compliance costs and simplifying tax filing processes, the agency was also keen on deterring non-compliance.

"Through risk assessment and data analytics, and coordinated audit and investigation programmes, IRAS uncovered a total of 15,233 non-compliant cases and recovered about S$387 million in taxes and penalties in FY 2013/14," it said. 

Dr Tan Kim Siew, Commissioner of Inland Revenue, added: "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. Through these measures, we seek to maintain the public’s trust in IRAS as a strong and fair tax authority."

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