A Practical Guide to Withholding Tax in Singapore
    A Practical Guide to Withholding Tax in Singapore


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Withholding tax is a mechanism to collect income tax from certain groups of non-residents and is an area often overlooked by businesses. With the rise of cross border transactions, it is therefore important for businesses to understand the practical application of withholding tax to avoid penalties and minimise their tax burden.

This workshop is designed specifically to give Accounting and Tax Professionals a practical knowledge of withholding tax. You will also learn about the concept of permanent establishment and gain a basic understanding of some articles in tax treaty. Personnel involved in tax compliance of the company and project costing will also find the workshop useful.

Programme Outline

Overview of withholding tax system

Who are non-resident companies and individuals (with COVID-19 updates)

Transactions that are subject to withholding tax

  • Applicable sections in Singapore Income Tax Act – treatments of payments of interest, royalties, service fees, etc.
  • Payment to non-resident professionals
  • Rights-based approach for characterising software payments and payments for the use of or the right to use information and digitised goods

Exemptions and remissions

Withholding tax rate

  • Singapore Income Tax Act

Application of tax treaties

  • Concept of Permanent Establishment (“PE”)
  • Types of PE
  • PE and implication to withholding tax
  • Various articles in a tax treaty (e.g. business profits, royalties and interest articles, etc.)
  • Claiming exemptions or reduced rates under the tax treaties
  • Certificates of residence

Withholding tax compliance and administration

  • Timing of withholding and payment to IRAS
  • Calculation
  • Who bears the withholding tax
  • When payment is in foreign currency
  • Deductibility of withholding tax on interest borne by companies on behalf of non-residents
  • Withholding tax forms
  • Penalties for non-compliance
  • Voluntary disclosure

Tax clauses in agreements – tax gross up and tax indemnity clause

Foreign tax credit/Pooling

Case studies on application of withholding tax provisions

What you will learn

At the end of this workshop, you will:

  • understand what kind of payments to non-residents will attract withholding tax
  • discover practical knowledge to apply tax treaty benefits to claim exemption of withholding tax or reduced tax rates
  • develop skills to craft tax clauses in agreements
  • learn how to claim foreign tax credit/pooling when preparing tax computation
  • avoid penalty for late or non-compliance

Target Audience

  • Accounting and Tax Professionals who would like to have a practical knowledge of withholding tax.
  • Personnel involved in tax compliance of the company and project costing will also find the workshop useful.

Expert Speaker

Wong Kok Siong

Kok Siong is a Tax Partner with Steven Tan Russell Bedford PAC. He has over 20 years of experience in tax compliance and tax planning, including 12 years with one of the Big Four Accounting Firms.

Kok Siong is well versed in Singapore income tax law and practice and he advises clients on a broad array of projects, including mergers and acquisitions, portfolio transfers, corporate restructuring, tax due diligence, cross-border transactions and investments. Having worked with clients in multiple industries, Kok Siong has extensive experience and expertise in serving local, multinational and listed companies in Singapore as well as multinational companies based in Asia Pacific, United States and Europe.

Kok Siong is an Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA) with the Singapore Institute of Accredited Tax Professionals, and a member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants.

This is a face-to-face event. You may choose to register for either the session on 22nd June or the alternative session on 24th September 2021.

  • Jun 22
    Tue, 9:00 AM - Tue, 5:00 PM Hotel Venue to be Advised
    • $535.00 incl. GST (7%)
    • PD hours: 7
  • Sep 24
    Fri, 9:00 AM - Fri, 5:00 PM Hotel Venue to be Advised
    • $535.00 incl. GST (7%)
    • PD hours: 7

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