On 1 January 2018, FRS 109 Financial Instruments, which replaces FRS 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition & Measurement, came into effect. Previously, we addressed the accounting treatment of the new standard and how it changes the way companies account for financial instruments. In this blog post, we discuss the tax treatment of financial instruments.
There has been much talk surrounding the impending GST hike following the recent Budget 2018 announcement. In his speech, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat revealed the government’s plans to raise GST by two percentage points, from 7% to 9% between 2021 to 2025, with the exact timing dependent on the economy’s performance, expenditure growth, and sustainability of existing taxes.
Changes to ease existing cooling measures in the Singapore residential property market were unveiled in March 2017. In addition to the reduction in the rates of seller’s stamp duty and the shortened holding period for residential properties, the government introduced the additional conveyance duty.
Set against a backdrop of geopolitical and economic uncertainties, technological disruptions and anti-globalisation sentiments, the measures announced in Budget 2017 are geared towards transforming Singapore into a nimble and adaptable economy.
The business-centric measures have been very targeted: short-term relief for firms suffering from cyclical downturns, digital transformation efforts and skills-based restructuring for affected industries; and equipping high-growth companies with the right resources to thrive globally.
Given the current business climate, it had been hoped that more would be done to help companies and individuals cope and transition smoothly. For example, many looked forward to an extension of the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme while others had personal relief enhancements on their wish lists.
Still, there are some noteworthy key measures:
The revised tax treaty between Singapore and Thailand came into effect on 1 January 2017, replacing the previous treaty signed in 1975. Areas that may be affected include intellectual property, construction, real property, services, leasing, airlines and shipping and certain debt funding arrangements.