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Employers to receive more than S$900 million in Jobs Support Scheme payouts from Sep 30

SINGAPORE: More than S$900 million in Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) payouts will be disbursed to employers from Sep 30. 

The payouts will be given to more than 43,900 employers in Singapore to support the wages of more than 570,000 local employees, said the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) on Tuesday (Sep 21). 

"With this payout, more than S$27.6 billion of JSS support would have been disbursed since the introduction of the scheme at the Unity Budget in February 2020," said the authorities. 

The JSS subsidises the salaries of Singaporeans and permanent residents to help companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Employers who made mandatory Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions for their local employees for April to July 2021 by the stipulated deadlines will qualify to receive the payout. 

The September payout will cover wages from April to July, including the enhanced JSS payout during the Phase 2 and 3 (Heightened Alert) period.

"The four-month payout coverage is higher than the usual three-month coverage to provide cashflow support to firms affected by the protracted crisis," said the authorities. 

In all, employers in closed sectors or sectors with tightened safe management measures - such as F&B and gyms and fitness studios - will receive the following JSS support between April and July: No subsidy for Apr 1 to May 15, 50 per cent for May 16 to Jul 11, 10 per cent for Jul 12 to Jul 21, and 60 per cent for Jul 22 to Jul 31. 

Significantly affected sectors such as retail, cinemas and family entertainment will receive: No subsidy for Apr 1 to May 15, 30 per cent for May 16 to Jul 11, 10 per cent for Jul 12 to Jul 21, and 40 per cent for Jul 22 to Jul 31. 

Employers in the tourism, hospitality, conventions and exhibitions will get 30 per cent for Apr 1 to Jul 11, 10 per cent for Jul 12 to Jul 21 and 40 per cent for July 22 to Jul 31.

Other sectors such as aviation and money changers will get 30 per cent for April to June and 10 per cent for July, while those in the built environment, firm distributor, land transport and marine and offshore will get 10 per cent for April to June and no subsidies for July.

The payout for wages paid after Jul 31 will be disbursed in December. 

Eligible employers will be notified by post of their payout amount this month. They can also log in to myTax Portal to view the electronic copy of their letter.

Employers who have registered for PayNow Corporate as of Sep 24 or have existing GIRO arrangements with IRAS can expect to receive the payouts from Sep 30. Others can expect to receive their cheques from Oct 15. 

S$23 MILLION IN PAYOUTS WITHHELD FROM EMPLOYERS FOR REVIEW

About S$23 million in payouts for September were withheld from 500 employers, pending their review and submission of supporting documents to IRAS to substantiate their eligibility, said the authorities. 

This is part of IRAS' "anti-gaming" efforts to ensure that payouts are "fairly and correctly" disbursed, they added. 

The 500 employers make up about 1.1 per cent of all qualifying employers for the payouts. They will receive their payouts once IRAS has verified the authenticity and accuracy of the information submitted. 

"Their payouts would be adjusted or denied if issues are found during the review," said the authorities. 

MOF and IRAS reminded employers to contribute the right amount of CPF for their employees, based on actual wages paid.

Their CPF contributions are used to determine the amount of the payout, they said. 

"The penalties for any attempt to abuse the JSS are severe," said the authorities. 

Other than having their JSS payouts denied, offenders can be charged with aggravated cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, where they may face a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine. 

Businesses or individuals who wish to report any malpractices or potential abuses of the scheme may do so via email to jssreport [at] iras.gov.sg or online.

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Source: CNA/lk

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