Accounting and Tax

Corporate Tax in Singapore: Essential Guide for Businesses

14 March 2024
Grof Writer
6 Minutes Read
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Filing Guide to Corporate Tax Singapore for Small Businesses 

The corporate tax rate in Singapore is a flat rate of 17%. This low tax rate, along with other tax incentives and exemptions, makes Singapore an attractive location for businesses looking to set up their operations. 

Congratulations on taking the plunge into entrepreneurship! As a small business owner in Singapore, navigating the realm of corporate taxes might seem like a daunting task, especially if it's your first time. Fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we'll break down the process, demystify key terms, and provide actionable insights to ensure a smooth corporate tax in Singapore.  

Who Qualifies as a Small Business? 

In the bustling business landscape of Singapore, determining if your venture qualifies as a small business is crucial. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) considers a company a small business if its annual revenue is less than SGD 10 million. So, if your enterprise falls within this bracket, you're officially a small business owner!   

Understanding this qualification is the first step towards recognising the specific corporate tax Singapore obligations your business will face in Singapore. It's essential to stay informed and regularly check for any updates in the criteria set by IRAS.  

What is the Corporate Tax Rate in Singapore? 

The corporate tax rate in Singapore is a flat rate of 17%. This low tax rate is one of the main reasons why many businesses choose to establish themselves in Singapore. It provides a competitive advantage, allowing companies to allocate more funds towards growth and expansion. 

It's important to note that the corporate tax rate applies to both local and foreign companies operating in Singapore. This level playing field encourages a vibrant business environment and promotes foreign investment. 

In addition to the flat corporate tax rate, Singapore offers various tax incentives and exemptions that further reduce the overall tax burden for businesses. These incentives are aimed at supporting specific industries, encouraging innovation, and attracting investments. 

This low tax rate, along with various tax incentives and exemptions, makes Singapore an attractive destination for businesses looking to establish a presence in Asia. 

Singapore has a corporate tax exemption scheme for start-up companies to help them reduce their tax bills. This scheme provides exemption on taxable profits for the first three years of operation. To qualify for this scheme, newly incorporated companies must file Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite) with IRAS and meet certain qualifying conditions. Companies can also benefit from the partial tax exemption scheme, which is another tax relief available to reduce their tax bills.  

When you meet the small business criteria, you become eligible for certain tax benefits and exemptions tailored to support and encourage the growth of smaller enterprises. Keeping abreast of these advantages can significantly contribute to your financial strategy.  

Corporate Tax in Singapore: Small Business Needs to Pay 

Understanding the taxes your small business is liable for is fundamental. In Singapore, small businesses typically deal with Corporate Income Tax. This tax is levied on a company's chargeable income, and the current corporate tax rate in Singapore stands at 17%. Additionally, Goods and Services Tax (GST) may apply if your annual revenue exceeds SGD 1 million. Being aware of these obligations ensures you stay on the right side of the taxman.  

In Singapore, companies are required to file two income tax returns with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) every year. The first one is the Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI), which must be submitted within three months from the end of the company's financial year. This form reflects an estimated chargeable income for the year and helps IRAS assess the company’s estimated tax liability early on. ECI should not include any rebate, as IRAS will compute and allow it automatically.  

The second income tax return is Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite), which must be filed annually and provides a final chargeable income for the year, including the due date for corporate tax filing for Singapore companies. This ensures that companies meet the necessary deadlines for submitting their tax returns. By filing a complete set of returns, including Form C, audited/unaudited accounts, and tax computation, companies can fulfil their tax obligations and avoid penalties for late submissions. 

Proactively managing your taxes involves more than just paying what's due. Consider investing time in understanding the nuances of these taxes to optimise your financial strategies. Explore available tax incentives or rebates for small businesses that can significantly impact your bottom line.  

Moreover, it's essential to understand the importance of accurate financial reporting. Reliable financial statements not only aid in precise tax calculations but also serve as a foundation for strategic business decisions.  

Common Tax Deductions for Small Business in Singapore 

Maximising tax deductions is a savvy way to ease the financial burden on your small business. Common deductions include employee salaries, rental expenses, and business-related travel costs. It's essential to keep meticulous records to substantiate these claims during tax filing. Don't leave money on the table—capitalise on every eligible deduction!  

Moreover, staying abreast of changes in tax laws and regulations is vital. Governments often introduce new deductions or amend existing ones, aiming to support small businesses.  

In addition to standard deductions, consider exploring the industry-specific corporate tax breaks of Singapore. Certain sectors may enjoy tailored incentives to promote growth and innovation. For instance, the technology sector often benefits from research and development (R&D) tax credits.   

Step-by-Step Guide to Filing Your Corporate Tax Singapore 

Now, let's delve into the nitty-gritty of filing your corporate income tax. Follow these steps to ensure a seamless process:  

  1. Gather Necessary Documents: Compile your financial statements, receipts, and any supporting documents.  
  2. Access IRAS myTax Portal: Register for an account on the IRAS myTax Portal, Singapore's online corporate tax platform.  
  3. Complete Form C-S or Form C: Based on your company's eligibility, choose the appropriate form for filing.  
  4. Submit Electronically: File it online through the myTax Portal. Remember, the deadline for filing is typically November 30th.  

As you navigate through the steps, keep in mind that accuracy and completeness are paramount. Any discrepancies in your filing may lead to penalties or audits.  

Consider engaging with industry forums or networking events where seasoned entrepreneurs in Singapore share their experiences with corporate tax filing. Learning from the real-world practices of others can provide valuable insights and enhance your understanding of the process.  

Tips for Filing Corporate Tax in Singapore 

Navigating the tax landscape can be tricky, but with these tips, you'll be well-prepared for a stress-free filing experience:  

  • Stay Organised: Maintain a systematic record-keeping system to access essential documents easily.  
  • Leverage Technology: Explore accounting software to streamline the process and minimise errors.  
  • Seek Professional Assistance: Consider engaging accounting services for small businesses in Singapore to ensure accuracy and compliance.  

Exploring professional services can be particularly beneficial if you find the corporate tax landscape in Singapore complex or if you're juggling multiple responsibilities as a small business owner. Accounting professionals not only provide expertise but can also offer strategic advice to optimise your financial position.  

Additionally, consider attending workshops or webinars hosted by reputable accounting firms. These sessions often provide practical insights and updates on recent changes in tax regulations.  

What Are the Consequences of Not Paying Corporate Tax in Singapore? 

When filing your corporate taxes as a small business owner in Singapore, it's crucial to be aware of common mistakes that can lead to penalties or delays. By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free tax filing process. 

One common mistake is failing to keep accurate records and supporting documents. It's important to maintain proper documentation for all income and deductible expenses, as well as any tax reliefs or incentives claimed. This will not only help you during the filing process but also provide evidence in case of an audit. 

Another common mistake is missing deadlines or submitting incomplete information. It's essential to stay on top of the tax filing deadlines and ensure that you have all the necessary documents and information ready. Failure to meet the deadlines or provide complete information can result in penalties or delays in processing. 

If the tax remains unpaid 60 days after the imposition of the 5% late payment penalty, an additional penalty of 1% per month may be imposed for every completed month that the tax remains unpaid, up to a maximum of 12% of the unpaid tax. 

Additionally, it's important to review your tax return carefully before submission. Double-checking for errors or omissions can save you from potential issues down the line. If you are unsure about any aspect of your tax return, consider seeking professional advice to ensure compliance with Singapore's tax laws. 

Documents and Information Required for Filing Corporate Tax Singapore 

Before you can start the process of filing your corporate taxes, you need to gather the necessary documents and information. This will include your financial statements, which should consist of your profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. 

You will also need to prepare your tax computation, which involves calculating your taxable income based on the financial statements and applying the relevant tax rates. Additionally, you will need to provide details of any deductible expenses, such as rental expenses, employee wages, and business-related travel expenses. 

It's important to keep accurate records and ensure that all supporting documents are properly organised. This will not only make the filing process smoother but also make it easier to substantiate your claims in case of an audit. 

So, What Should I Do to Avoid Penalties? 

Filing corporate taxes can be a complex and time-consuming process, especially for small business owners who may have limited resources and expertise. Engaging the services of a tax professional such as Grof can help ease this burden and ensure that you fulfil your tax obligations accurately and efficiently.  


Filing corporate tax in Singapore for the first time may seem overwhelming, but armed with knowledge and the right resources, you can tackle it with confidence. Remember, staying informed, keeping meticulous records, and leveraging available tools and services will contribute to a successful tax filing experience for your small business.  

For more assistance with your accounting needs, contact our experts at Grof! Now, go forth and conquer your first corporate tax filing! 

Your Ultimate Singapore Incorporation Checklist
Explore crucial dos and don'ts, along with essential tips for a successful company registration when establishing your foothold in Singapore!
Your Ultimate Singapore Incorporation Checklist
Explore crucial dos and don'ts, along with essential tips for a successful company registration when establishing your foothold in Singapore!
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