Corporate Tax Guide - How to File Corporate Income Tax in Singapore

Staff Writer

August 17, 2023

What’s in the article?

By now, you’re probably aware that one of the statutory obligations that come with setting up a company in Singapore is paying corporate income taxes. 

And so, to help you out, this guide explains the whole process of filing your corporate income taxes with IRAS. You get to find out how you’ll do your income tax filing, what you’ll include in your income tax filing, and where you’ll subsequently proceed to do your income tax submissions. 

Before we dive into all that, though, let’s get the basics right. What is the corporate income tax filing process all about? What’s the standard corporate income tax rate in Singapore? And how exactly do you determine the applicable tax period? 

Understanding Corporate Income tax

Well, as it turns out, Singapore’s corporate income tax is imposed on all companies that happen to conduct business in the city-state. And yes, that includes both local and foreign companies. 

The body that’s mandated to collect the taxes is known as the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore - or, in short, the IRAS. And according to Singapore’s Income Tax, the IRAS is required to impose a tax rate of 17% on each company’s chargeable income. 

This taxable amount is usually established by subtracting deductible business expenses from the company’s total gross income.  And that’s precisely where income tax filing comes in.

You see, once you do the calculations, you should file everything with the IRAS - which then proceeds to assess the figures, before sending you a tax bill for the amount due. 

Please note, however, that while corporate income taxes in Singapore are paid every year, the income tax filing process itself is split into two different submissions:

  • First, you should file your Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) within three months from the company’s financial year-end. The IRAS will subsequently generate a tax bill based on rough estimates of your company’s annual chargeable income. 
  • After paying the ECI tax bill, the IRAS still requires you to file your Corporate Income Tax Returns by the 15th of December (for e-filing) or the 30th of November (for paper filing). This is where you fill out and submit your company’s Form C-S or Form C, which the IRAS ultimately uses to establish your final tax amount.

Basis Period and Year of Assessment

One thing you’ll notice about the whole IRAS tax process and filing is, the Year of Assessment (YA) and Basis Period can get pretty confusing. And that’s because companies in Singapore are usually charged taxes on the income generated in the preceding financial year. 

In other words, income taxes for the financial year 2020 ought to be filed and paid in 2021. That makes 2021 the Year of Assessment (YA), while 2020 becomes the Basis Period. 

More specifically, the Basis Period is the 12 months preceding the company’s year-end, while the Year of Assessment (YA) refers to the specific income tax filing submission year. 

Now, to put it all into perspective, consider these practical examples that are based on different year-ends. 

Examples Based on Different Financial Year Ends

  • For a company whose financial year ends on the 31st of March, income tax filing in YA 2021 should be on the finances generated during the Basis Period running from the 1st of April 2019 to the 31st of March 2020.
  • For a company whose financial year ends on the 30th of June, income tax filing in YA 2021 should be on the finances generated during the Basis Period running from the 1st of July 2019 to the 30th of June 2020. 
  • For a company whose financial year ends on the 31st of December, income tax filing in YA 2021 should be on the finances generated during the Basis Period running from the 1st of January 2020 to the 31st of December 2020. 

How to Process IRAS Tax Filing — Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore 2023

As the most convenient income tax filing option, e-filing is a favorite for many companies in Singapore. 

And yes - in case you’re wondering, the option is available for both ECI filing and Form C-S/C filing. Here are the individual procedures: 

ECI Filing

To file your company’s Estimated Chargeable Income, you should:

  • Go to the IRAS myTax Portal.
  • Select the “Business Tax Matters” option and then log in to the system using your company’s Unique Identity Number (UEN), plus the corresponding CorpPass ID and password. 
  • On your account’s dashboard, proceed to the “Corporate Tax” tab along the main menu, and then select “File ECI”. 
  • On the “File ECI” window, click on the “Proceed” button and then confirm your company’s particulars to access the main ECI form. 
  • The form will require you to enter - among other details - your company’s revenue, estimated chargeable income, and the Year of Assessment. 
  • When you’re done, proceed to the confirmation page to verify everything, and then submit your details to IRAS. 
  • In the end, the system will display an acknowledgment receipt upon submission.
  • The IRAS will subsequently review the figures, and then send you a tax bill in the form of a Notice of Assessment (NOA)

Form C-S/C Filing

To submit your company’s corporate income tax returns via Form C-S or Form C, you should:

  • Access the IRAS myTax Portal.
  • Choose the “Business Tax Matters” option and then log in to the system using your company’s UEN and CorpPass credentials. 
  • Proceed to the “Company Tax” tab along the menu bar and then select “File Form C-S/C”. 
  • Specify the Year of Assessment (YA) and then pick the appropriate tax filing form - Form C for companies with annual revenue exceeding S$5 million, Form C-S for smaller companies making S$5 million or less per year, or Form C-S Lite for companies making S$200,000 or less.)
  • Fill out the form with your company’s details and financial records, as well as attach the required supporting documentation - tax computation, financial statements, etc. 
  • Submit the form after confirming all the details. The system will then generate an acknowledgment receipt. 

Take the Easiest Option

The best thing about the income tax filing process in Singapore is, you don’t have to do it yourself. You can, instead, appoint us as your tax agents and we’ll take care of everything on your behalf.

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