One thing you might have noticed about the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) is, it’s pretty fond of asking both individuals and corporations for their “Tax Identification Number”, “Unique Entity Number” or “Tax Reference Number”.
Now, in case you’ve been wondering what it’s all about, this article provides all the answers you need. It reveals what the tax identification number entails in Singapore, what it means for entities and individuals, as well as the application processes you should follow as a foreigner.
In Singapore, Tax Identification Number (TIN) refers to a unique set of nine to ten digits that the government issues to tax-paying individuals and entities. They are fundamentally meant to act as distinct identifiers or “fingerprints” in statutory procedures such as tax filing.
It’s worth noting, though, that Tax Identification Numbers don’t always go by that name.
Singapore citizens and permanent residents, for instance, are issued what is known as a “Tax Reference Number” by the IRAS. Then businesses, on the other hand, are given a “Unique Entity Number” (UEN) by government agencies such as the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore.
However, that wasn’t always the case. It just so happens that before January 2009, each business had a “Tax Identification Number”. It then morphed into the UEN after Singapore changed its policies.
From the name itself, you can tell that the Tax Identification Number is intended to act as the reference number in all the tax-related procedures. Both individuals and entities are expected to use their TIN while filing their tax returns with the IRAS.
But, it doesn’t stop there. As it turns out, the TIN is also relevant in many other government transactions. Businesses, for instance, are required to additionally use their UEN when:
If you’re a Singapore citizen, you can simply confirm your Tax Identification Number using your National Registration Identity Card. Foreigners, on the other hand, should proceed with their:
As for businesses and entities, the numbers can be confirmed online via UEN’s Seach.
As an individual:
The application process for entities, however, is a little bit different. Instead of applying through the IRAS, they are required to obtain their UEN from government agencies like:
If you’re looking to set up shop in Singapore, you can start by talking to us. Our corporate experts will help you in not only securing a Tax Identification Number, but also fulfilling the rest of the statutory business requirements in Singapore.