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Tax season returns: E-filing optimised for smartphones; new personal reliefs tool

The new Personal Reliefs Eligibility Tool will allow taxpayers to check if they are eligible for reliefs such as the Qualifying Child Relief, Grandparent Caregiver Relief and Foreign Maid Levy Relief.

SINGAPORE: Filing your income tax is now easier and more convenient, with smartphone filing optimised for mobile browsers and a new interactive tool to check your eligibility for personal reliefs.

The enhancements, announced on Thursday (Mar 3) by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), will be available for the current tax season, which runs from Mar 1 to Apr 18.

The new Personal Reliefs Eligibility Tool will allow taxpayers to check if they are eligible for reliefs such as the Qualifying Child Relief, Grandparent Caregiver Relief and Foreign Maid Levy Relief.

Standard personal reliefs such as Earned Income Relief and NSman Relief will continue to be automatically granted, IRAS said.

Starting from this tax season, rental expenses for tenanted residential properties will also be pre-filled. This means that the online tax form for taxpayers who wish to claim rental expenses will be pre-filled with 15 per cent of the gross rent. In addition, taxpayers can still claim mortgage interest on the loan taken to purchase the tenanted property, IRAS said.

Alternatively, taxpayers can choose to claim the amount of actual rental expenses incurred.

For taxpayers with more than one property, the option they choose – either the pre-filled 15 per cent or actual rental expenses incurred – will apply to all their tenanted residential properties, IRAS said.

MORE EMPLOYERS PARTICIPATING IN E-SUBMISSION

This year, more than 70,000 commission-earners – such as real estate agents and insurance agents – will have their income information pre-filled for them, IRAS said.

More than 210 organisations are expected to submit their commission earners’ income records under the e-Submission of Commission Income Scheme this year – an increase of 90 per cent from the 110 organisations which took part last year.

According to IRAS, 1.4 million taxpayers are now on the No-Filing Service scheme. These taxpayers will be able to preview their Notice of Assessment and request an early assessment starting from March, if they do not have changes to their pre-filled income and relief claims, IRAS said.

Upon request, these taxpayers will be able to view their Notice of Assessment online within three working days.

“For taxpayers on the GIRO payment scheme, opting for an early assessment provides them with even more certainty on their tax payments as their GIRO instalment plans will be based on their actual tax payments instead of a provisional instalment plan,” IRAS said, adding that 14,000 taxpayers requested early assessment last year.

To avoid late filing penalties, taxpayers are reminded to file their income tax returns online by Apr 18 or send in their paper returns by Apr 15, IRAS said.