Accounting and Tax

How Enterprise Innovation Scheme (EIS) Reduces Your Business Taxes

20 December 2023
Grof Writer
5 Minutes Read
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Are you an entrepreneur in Singapore? Do you own a small business? Are you looking to expand your business and save on taxes? Enterprise Innovation Scheme (EIS) is something to look into. 

This guide will explain EIS in simple terms. We'll look at the benefits, what activities qualify, how you can get cash back for your spending, how to apply, and why getting advice from experts is a good idea. Let's find out how EIS can help your business innovate and reduce your taxes. 

It's a fantastic way to not just boost innovation in your business. At the same time, keep your tax bill lean and mean. Let's dive in and see how EIS can be a game-changer for you! 

What is the Enterprise Innovation Scheme? 

The Enterprise Innovation Scheme (EIS) is a government initiative launched by the Singaporean government to encourage businesses to invest in research and development (R&D) activities. Introduced in the 2023 Budget, EIS allow businesses that partake in research and development (R&D) activities to claim up to 400% in tax deductions

The scheme aims to foster innovation and technological advancement across various industries, helping Singapore maintain its competitive edge in the global market. Under the EIS, companies can enjoy tax benefits that can significantly reduce their tax liability, making it an attractive option for businesses looking to drive growth while saving on taxes. 

To participate in the EIS, businesses must meet certain eligibility criteria. The next section will delve into the benefits of EIS and the eligibility criteria for the scheme. 

Benefits of EIS 

The Enterprise Innovation Scheme (EIS) offers substantial benefits to boost your business's growth and innovation. Firstly, it provides enhanced tax deductions for qualifying R&D activities, significantly reducing your tax liability. Furthermore, it encourages investment in new technologies and methodologies, thereby fostering a culture of innovation within your company. Additionally, by participating in EIS, your business can gain a competitive edge in the market, as it supports the development of unique products and services. Finally, this scheme not only aids in financial savings but also contributes to the overall economic growth of the industry and country. Here's how it works for you: 

1. Tax Deductions/Allowances: You get enhanced or new tax deductions and allowances on expenditures related to: 

  • R&D activities in Singapore. 
  • Registering intellectual property (IP). 
  • Acquiring and licensing IP rights. 
  • Training programmes. 
  • Innovation projects with polytechnics, the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), or other qualified partners. 


2. Cash Payout: There's an option to convert up to $100,000 of your total qualifying expenditure across all these activities for each Year of Assessment (YA) into a non-taxable cash payout. This is done at a 20% conversion rate, offering a flexible alternative to tax deductions and allowances. 

This scheme not only provides direct financial benefits but also encourages investment in key areas of innovation and skill development. 

Eligibility Criteria for The Enterprise Innovation Scheme (EIS) 

To participate in the Enterprise Innovation Scheme (EIS) and enjoy its tax benefits, businesses must meet certain eligibility activities. These activities are designed to ensure that the scheme is targeted towards businesses that are genuinely engaged in research and development (R&D) activities.  

Here are the key eligibility criteria for the EIS: 

Enterprise Innovation Scheme Criteria

It is essential to thoroughly review the eligibility activities and understand the specific requirements for each category of expenses. Consequently, this comprehensive understanding will ensure that your business meets the necessary criteria before applying for the EIS. Additionally, such a detailed review can help you identify potential areas where your business might benefit the most from the scheme, further enhancing the likelihood of a successful application. 

Steps to Apply for the Enterprise Innovation Scheme (EIS) 

Applying for the Enterprise Innovation Scheme (EIS) involves several steps, from gathering the necessary documentation to submitting the application. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the application process: 

  1. Identify Eligible Activities: Start by pinpointing activities that qualify under the EIS, such as specific R&D projects your company plans to undertake. 
  2. Assess Eligibility: Check if these activities meet the EIS criteria, including R&D initiatives, IP registration, and collaborative innovation projects. Also, confirm that your business is eligible, like being a tax resident in Singapore. 
  3. Compile Documentation: Organise all necessary documents related to your qualifying activities. This includes detailed records of R&D efforts, IP registrations, and other innovation-related initiatives. 
  4. Submit Claim Form: For R&D projects, fill out and submit the Research and Development Claim Form alongside your company's Corporate Income Tax Return for the relevant Year of Assessment. If you're using Form C, attach this form; if using Form C-S/ Form C-S (Lite), retain it for possible submission to IRAS upon request. 
  5. Maintain Documentation: Keep comprehensive records of all activities, focusing on aspects like objectives, technical risks, and systematic investigations. Moreover, this documentation should be thorough and ready for presentation to IRAS if asked. 
  6. Conversion to Cash Payout (Optional): If opting for a cash payout of qualifying expenditures, complete the necessary declarations using the prescribed election form, adhering to the EIS's guidelines on conversion rates and maximum amounts per Year of Assessment. 

Seek Expert Guidance for EIS Success 

To sum up, the Enterprise Innovation Scheme (EIS) is a valuable initiative by the Singaporean government, aimed at encouraging business owners such as yourself to engage in research and development. Offering up to 400% in tax deductions for qualifying activities, EIS is a key opportunity for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Singapore to innovate while saving on taxes.  

To benefit from this scheme, businesses need to meet specific eligibility criteria and follow a structured application process. Moreover, utilising EIS can lead to significant tax savings and foster a culture of innovation, crucial for maintaining a competitive advantage in the global market. 

However, it's always a good idea to consult with a tax professional or expert in the field to ensure that your application is accurate and that you're maximising the potential benefits of the EIS. 

That's where we at Grof step in. 

Why Grof? 

At Grof, we specialise in guiding businesses through the intricacies of tax applications, ensuring accuracy and efficiency at every step. Our team of seasoned accountants is adept at navigating the complexities of the tax landscape, offering tailored advice to maximise the potential benefits of programmes like the EIS.  

By choosing Grof, your business not only gains access to expert knowledge but also the assurance of making informed decisions about your tax strategies. Our personalised approach means we identify unique opportunities for each business, helping to optimise your tax positions and unlock potential financial advantages. 

To sum up, we go beyond crunching numbers and filling out forms; we are committed to helping you navigate the dynamic realms of taxation and accounting, steering your business towards success. 

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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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