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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 programme 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

1. Overview of withholding tax system

2. Who are non-resident companies and individuals

3. Transactions that are subject to withholding tax 
- Applicable sections in Singapore Income Tax Act
- Rights-based approach for characterising software payments and payments for the use of or the right to use information and digitised goods

4. Exemptions and remissions
- Rationalise the withholding tax exemption for financial sector 

5. Withholding tax rate
- Singapore Income Tax Act
- Application of tax treaties

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

- Definition of PE 
- Types of PE

7. 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

8. Foreign tax credit

9. Case studies 

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 

Expert Speaker

Lau Gim Hoon

Gim Hoon is an Accredited Tax Advisor (Income Tax) with the Singapore Institute of Accredited Tax Professionals, and has more than 30 years of experience in GST and Corporate Tax consultancy. 

She had previously spent more than 10 years with one of the big four international accounting firms and almost 20 years in large corporations and public listed companies. She specialised in corporate tax compliance (including handling IRAS queries, tax audit and cross border issues) and advisory work for inbound and outbound investments. 

Gim Hoon is able to explain complex tax concepts, and enjoys sharing practical examples and cases drawn from her vast and practical experience, thus ensuring participants’ effective application of the acquired knowledge. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at the Singapore University of Social Sciences and teaches the tax module for its Accountancy programme.

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