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SOLIDARITY BUDGET

Singapore Supplementary Solidarity Budget 2020 Overview

 

On 6 April 2020, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat, presented Singapore’s third wave of Government’s plans for further support for Singapore and Singaporeans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Called the Solidarity Budget, it came after Singapore announced the closure of schools (full home-based learning) and non-essential businesses for four weeks (beginning 7 April 2020) and will introduce measures worth another $5.1 billion, following the $6.4 billion Unity Budget in February and the record-breaking $48 billion Resilience Budget on 26 March.

Some of the new and enhanced measures include:

  • Temporary Enhancement to Jobs Support Scheme – this scheme was launched at Budget 2020 in February and enhanced in March under the Resilience Budget to help businesses retain their local employees during this period of uncertainty.  This scheme will be further enhanced so that all companies will now get 75% of wage support for local employees for the month of April 2020, up from 25% previously, and the first payout under the scheme will be brought forward to April (previously in end-May).  To facilitate fast disbursement, the additional subsidy from the temporary enhancement will first be computed based on wages paid in October 2019, and subsequently adjusted based on wages paid in April 2020.  Employers who do not pay wages in April 2020, for example by putting the employee on no-pay leave, will not benefit from the increase.
  • As part of its support for taxpayers in light of the latest measures to manage the COVID-19 situation, the IRAS is providing an automatic extension of deadlines for tax filing for individuals and businesses:

    Tax Type Original Filing Deadline Extended Filing Deadline
    Income tax for individuals (including sole proprietors and partnerships)

    18 April 2020 (e-filing)

    15 April 2020 (paper filing)

    31 May 2020
    Income Tax for Trust, Clubs and Associations 15 April 2020 31 May 2020
    Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) for companies with financial year ending Jan 2020 30 April 2020 31 May 2020
    GST Returns for accounting period ending Mar 2020 30 April 2020 11 May 2020
    S45 Withholding Tax Forms due in April 2020 15 April 2020 15 May 2020
    Tax clearances for foreign employees in April 2020 - 1 additional month

 

  • For listed and non-listed companies whose Annual General Meetings (AGMs) are due during the period 1 to 15 April 2020, ACRA will not impose any penalties if they hold the AGM within 60 days of the due date. Their Annual Return (AR) filing due dates will also be extended for 60 days. There is no need for these companies to apply for the extension of time. 
    Original Due Date/Extended Due Date previously granted for AGM New AGM due date New AR due date
    16 Apr 2020 to 30 Apr 2020 15 Jun 2020 to 29 Jun 2020 15 Jul 2020 to 30 Jul 2020
    1 May 2020 to 31 May 2020 30 Jun 2020 to 30 Jul 2020 31 Jul 2020 to 29 Aug 2020
    1 Jun 2020 to 30 Jun 2020 31 Jul 2020 to 29 Aug 2020 30 Aug 2020 to 29 Sep 2020
    1 Jul 2020 to 31 Jul 2020 30 Aug 2020 to 29 Sep 2020 30 Sep 2020 to 30 Oct 2020
  • Foreign worker levy – to ease the labour costs of hiring foreign workers, the Government will waiver the monthly foreign worker levy due in April. It will also provide employers with a foreign worker rebate of $750 for each work permit or S pass holding, based on previous levies paid in 2020.
  • Temporary bridging loan programme/Enterprise Financing Scheme (SME Working Capital Loan and Trade Loan) – Under this further enhancement, the Government’s share of risk on the loans will increase to 90% (from 80%) for loans initiated from 8 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.
  • Enhanced property tax rebate for 2020 – this rebate was announced in Budget 2020 and enhanced in March to increase property tax rebate for qualifying commercial properties, such as hotels, serviced apartments, tourist attractions, shops and restaurants, to 100% (up from 15%/30%).  The Government will introduce new legislation to ensure that landlords pass on property tax rebates in full to their tenants.  Property owners who fail to fully pass on the property tax rebate unconditionally to their tenants, without good reasons, will be guilty of an offence.
  • Further enhancement of rental waivers – increased rental waiver to 1 month (up from 0.5 months) for all industrial, office and agricultural tenants of Government agencies.

  • A Bill will be introduced to allow businesses and individuals to defer certain contractual obligations, such as paying rent and repayment of loans for a period.

  • Self-employed person income relief scheme – it was announced in the Resilience Budget in March that eligible Singaporean self-employed persons will receive $1,000 a month, for 9 months.  Under the scheme, eligible Singaporean self-employed persons will receive three quarterly cash payouts of $3,000 each in May, July and October 2020. The scheme is now enhanced to include freelancers earning a small income (up to $2,300 a month) from employment work.  The qualifying criterion of the annual value of property threshold will be raised from $13,000 to up to $21,000 to include freelancers living in condominiums and other private properties. 

  • Further Enhancement to Care and Support Package – All Singaporean aged 21 and above this year will receive a one-off Solidarity Payment of $600 in cash.  This will be done by bringing forward $300 from the earlier announced enhanced Care and Support Package, with the Government topping up an additional $300.

  • PAssion Card top-up announced in Budget 2020 will now be given in cash instead of physical redemption in consideration of safe distancing.

  • The payouts from the further enhanced Care and Support Package can be summarised per the table below:
    Assessable Income for Year of Assessment 2019 $0 to $28,000 $28,001 to $100,000 More than $100,000, or owns more than one property Payment timeline
    For all Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2020 Solidarity Payout $600 April 2020
    Remaining Enhanced Care and Support - Cash $600 $300 $0 Jun-20
    For parents 1   Additional Enhanced Care and Support - Cash $300
    For all Singaporeans aged 50 and above in 2020 Passion Card Top-up (now given in cash) $100
    1 Refers to Singaporean parents with at least one Singaporean child aged 20 and below in 2020. Each eligible parent will receive the additional $300.