COVID-19 has adversely impacted the global economy just as Singapore companies and businesses suffered negative by the various circuit breaker measures implemented. This has also mainly affected the livelihoods of many Singaporeans as many faced the prospect of retrenchment and lower-income.
The Singapore government has since announced various support schemes for individuals and households. The schemes were first announced in the annual 2020 Budget speech, followed by updates in the Resilience Budget and thirdly the Solidarity Budget. The total fiscal stimulus measure now stands at SGD59.9 billion or 12% of Singapore annual GDP.
Deferment of Individual Income Tax Payments
Individuals may opt to defer their income tax payments due in May, June and July 2020. The income tax deduction will resume in August, September or October 2020 and the end-date of your instalment plan will be extended by 3 months. For individuals making a lump sum payment, they may opt to defer payment by three months. This provides temporary relief to taxpayers having cash flow issues.
Care and Support Package for Households
Enhanced Care and Support Budget – This is a one-off cash handout for all Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2020 whom will receive SGD300, SGD600 or SGD900 depending on household income and value of property ownership.
Additional help for families with children- This is a one-off SGD300 cash handout for each Singaporean parent with at least 1 Singaporean child aged 20 and below in 2020.
Temporary Relief Fund – One off SGD500 cash assistance to eligible Singaporeans with monthly income lower than SGD3,100 who had lost their jobs.
COVID-19 Support Grant – Monthly cash grant of SGD800 for 3 months to eligible Singaporeans with monthly income lower than SGD3,100 who had lost their jobs and actively searching for training programme under Workforce Singapore.
One-off Solidarity Cash Payout – Every adult Singaporean will receive an additional $300 cash payout. This is on top of the SGD300 to SGD900 cash payment of the Care and Support package announced in the Resilience Budget.
Relief schemes for self-employed individuals
Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) – Eligible Singaporean will receive SGD1,000 in cash for nine months.
Workfare Income Supplement Scheme (WISS) – SGD3,000 one-off cash payment to Singaporean workers whose gross monthly income is not more than SGD2,300 and 35 years of age or older.
Other budget reliefs for individuals
- All stallholders at hawker centres and markets managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) will be given one month’s worth of rental waiver, with a minimum waiver of SGD200.
- SkillsFuture Credit (SFC) Top Up – The Government will provide a one-off SFC top-up of SGD500 to every Singapore Citizen aged 25 years and above as at 31 December 2020.
- Additional GST Voucher – U-Save
All eligible HDB households will receive double their regular GST Voucher (GSTV) – U- Save in Financial Year (FY) 2020 (April 2020 to March 2021) through a one-off GSTV – U-Save Special Payment. Eligible households with five or more members will receive an additional GSTV – U-Save rebate in FY 2020, and will thus receive a total of 2.5 times their regular GSTV – U-Save in FY 2020.
The various support measures are aimed at assisting Singaporeans and residents to tide through the financial downturn under the COVID-19 pandemic.
PWCO is a qualified tax professional services firm with over 30 years of experience in the industry. Our firm keeps up to date with the latest IRAS legislative changes and can help to ease any client’s personal tax filing procedures.
For more information on the tax reliefs included in the Singapore Budget 2020 announcements please refer to the following: