10th anniversary commemorative edition

You and the Taxman

Issue 4, 2015

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This 10th anniversary commemorative edition looks at the past, present and future of Singapore taxation, and where tax legislation can be refined to enhance Singapore’s competitiveness.

Featured

EY - The role of tax policy: what works, what stays, what changes?

The role of tax policy: what works, what stays, what changes?

The primary purpose of taxation is, of course, to raise revenue. But tax policy is also used to enhance competitiveness and shape social behaviours.

EY - The evolution of transfer pricing in Singapore

The evolution of transfer pricing in Singapore

The transfer pricing scene in Singapore has progressed since the first guidelines were introduced in 2006. With base erosion and profit shifting in the international limelight, the tax authority’s focus on transfer pricing will continue to intensify.

EY - Singapore GST: past, present and future

Singapore GST: past, present and future

Since its introduction, the goods and services tax (GST) rate has increased and self-review programmes have been introduced. The future is likely to bring increasing use of data analytics to enforce GST.

EY - Expatriate taxes: past, present and future

Expatriate taxes: past, present and future

Drawing talent from abroad helps Singapore to inject greater vibrancy into the economy and retain its position as a key business hub in Asia. In reviewing the tax regime for expatriate taxation, the key is to strike the correct balance.

EY - Preserving Singapore's status as a regional hub for business

Preserving Singapore's status as a regional hub for business

In light of growing transfer pricing scrutiny worldwide, Singapore has to defend its stature as an international business hub by ensuring that companies anchored here have sufficient business substance.

EY - Recent trends in the application of tax treaties

Recent trends in the application of tax treaties

Recent trends observed in tax treaties of late include the narrowing of permanent establishment exclusions and the inclusion of anti-abuse provisions to disallow treaty benefits. The fight against BEPS is also likely to impact the negotiation of tax treaties.

EY - Venturing abroad: five tax issues SMEs need to consider

Venturing abroad: five tax issues SMEs need to consider

Before going overseas, SMEs need to consider the local tax implications of the entity structure, the local tax impact of funding arrangements, tax deductibility of borrowing costs, future profit repatriation, and the tax implications of disposal of the investment.

EY - Managing the talent and reward agenda

Managing the talent and reward agenda

To grow talent, organisations need to emphasise their future competencies and align their development with business plans. Organisations should also customise reward programmes and align these with business strategy and employee needs.

 

 


Other articles

EY - Straight from the gut: a retired taxman shares a few thoughts

Straight from the gut: a retired taxman shares a few thoughts

EY’s former Head of Tax shares his insights on what it takes to succeed in the tax profession and how to instil confidence and trust in the client-advisor relationship.

EY - Singapore tax incentives: the Jubilee vantage point

Singapore tax incentives: the Jubilee vantage point

Singapore’s incentive schemes have always been refined in line with economic priorities. Government agencies have played a critical role in administering these incentives to attract and retain businesses with substantive activities in Singapore.

EY - Singapore REITs: the next lap

Singapore REITs: the next lap

The regulatory and taxation framework for Singapore real estate investment trusts (REITs), including tax transparency, has contributed to the sector’s success. Going forward, other key taxation areas that can be reviewed include the sunset clause.

EY - Singapore thrives as a fund management hotspot

Singapore thrives as a fund management hotspot

Singapore’s tax incentive regime has been instrumental in positioning Singapore as an attractive fund management centre. Despite this, there’s still room to encourage further fund domiciliation in Singapore.

EY - Keeping taxes competitive for the insurance industry

Keeping taxes competitive for the insurance industry

Targeted tax policies have helped to create a vibrant insurance sector in Singapore. An area that could be refined is to allow the application of general tax principles to evaluate the tax implications of business operations and transactions.

EY - Demystifying the 2015 Singapore Transfer Pricing Guidelines

Demystifying the 2015 Singapore Transfer Pricing Guidelines

The release of the 2015 Singapore Transfer Pricing Guidelines in January 2015 has been a game-changer, requiring companies to prepare annual transfer pricing documentation.

EY - Enhancing the renovation and refurbishment deduction scheme

Enhancing the renovation and refurbishment deduction scheme

To further support small and medium-sized enterprises, the renovation and refurbishment deduction scheme can be refined by increasing the spending cap, amongst other measures.

EY - Defining the status of an investment holding company

Defining the status of an investment holding company

In determining the tax treatment of an investment holding company, it is important to differentiate between a pure investment company and a section 10E company which “carries on a business of making investments”.

EY - Nailing withholding tax compliance

Nailing withholding tax compliance

Withholding tax is a key concern in cross-border transactions. Companies need to consider the various withholding tax compliance requirements, as well as the developments in this area, in multiple jurisdictions.

EY - Broadening deductions for intangible assets

Broadening deductions for intangible assets

In tax, the line between capital and revenue expenditure is difficult to draw. For telecommunication providers, it would be helpful if the payments for spectrum rights and licences can be deducted or amortised for tax purposes.

EY - In the spirit of giving

In the spirit of giving

Despite their contribution to society, voluntary welfare organisations in Singapore do not receive special GST relief or status. Perhaps it is time to fine-tune the GST legislation to reverse this.

EY - Finding tax upside with accounting reclassification

Finding tax upside with accounting reclassification

In determining whether a receipt is capital or revenue in nature, taxpayers need to examine the facts and circumstances surrounding the transactions and consider these against guidance developed through case law.

EY - The big deal about BEPS

The big deal about BEPS

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) BEPS project affects businesses with overseas operations. Companies need to assess the impact of BEPS and implement measures to mitigate any negative impact.

EY - Going global: consider before you leap

Going global: consider before you leap

Before going global, companies need to consider these tax issues: the holding and financing structure for new investments, local tax considerations in the foreign country, transfer pricing and supply chain issues, and expatriate tax implications.

EY - Staying competitive in an evolving global tax landscape

Staying competitive in an evolving global tax landscape

Many countries are embarking on tax reforms, driven by the OECD’s BEPS Action Plan and the move towards greater transparency. Multinational enterprises thus need to keep themselves updated on these tax policy shifts.

EY - The

The "art" of investing in ASEAN

While the ASEAN region offers a plethora of opportunities for foreign investors, they need to be aware of the diverse regulatory and tax compliance requirements in the region.

EY - Divestments: the new black?

Divestments: the new black?

Divestments can catalyse growth as the funds from a sale can be deployed into more exciting opportunities. To maximise value, businesses need to ensure that the divestment is tax-efficient.

EY - Singapore centralised business models and transfer pricing documentation

Singapore centralised business models and transfer pricing documentation

The centralisation of managing transfer pricing documentation can ensure a coherent and consistent messaging across groups, which is increasingly important given the BEPS requirements.

EY - Top four customs implications of cross-border structuring

Top four customs implications of cross-border structuring

Singapore’s customs environment can be just as complex as other customs jurisdictions in Asia-Pacific. Redesigning operating models with a Singapore element therefore requires careful consideration of customs issues.

EY - Embracing a data driven era

Embracing a data driven era

Tax departments face challenges in mining and managing data for better decision making. Tax functions can harness the use of big data to make better decisions, meet transparency demands and reduce tax risk.

EY - Navigating new tax headwinds in the shipping industry

Navigating new tax headwinds in the shipping industry

As the international tax landscape evolves, players in the shipping industry need to assess their business models to ensure that they can proactively manage tax risks and support their adopted tax positions.

EY - Oil and gas sector facing structural shift

Oil and gas sector facing structural shift

Oil and gas players will need to consider the tax implications of further consolidation in the sector, amid a backdrop of falling oil prices.

EY - Top five considerations in entering transactions in the financial services sector

Top five considerations in entering transactions in the financial services sector

Before proceeding with a transaction, financial services institutions should consider the following: reputational concerns and internal governance, codes of conduct, BEPS concerns, transfer pricing and anti-avoidance provisions.

EY - Tax and the cloud: is the sky clearing?

Tax and the cloud: is the sky clearing?

Cloud computing has increased exponentially, but uncertainty remains on its tax treatment. Key tax issues relating to cloud computing include the sourcing of income and the characterisation of payments.