Singapore Budget 2019 highlights

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Building a Strong, United Singapore 

The Singapore Budget for 2019 has been prepared with the mindset to sustain the growth of the country for the security of its future and with a strong correlation to ensuring Singaporeans are well looked after.

Below are the key changes that impact SMEs and corporates alike as well as the general public:

Goods and Services Tax

  • With effect from 19 February 2019, the GST import relief for value of goods bought overseas is reduced to the following:
    1. $100 (from $150), for travellers who spend less than 48 hours outside Singapore.
    2. $500 (from $600), for travellers who spend 48 hours or more outside Singapore.
  • Extend the concession for partial recovery of input GST for qualifying funds to 31 December 2024.
  • The extension of GST remission for S-REITs and Singapore-listed RBTs in the infrastructure business, ship leasing and aircraft leasing sectors to 31 December 2025.

Corporate income tax

  • Extend writing down allowance for capital expenditure incurred on acquiring qualifying intellectual property rights to YA 2025.
  • Extend the 100% IA to include projects approved from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2021.
  • Extend the concessions for S-REITs and REITs ETFs to 31 December 2025 and remove sunset clause for the tax exemption on distributions received by individuals.
  • Extend and refine the tax incentive schemes for qualifying funds (under Sections 13CA, 13R and 13X) managed by Singapore-based fund managers to 31 December 2024.
  • AUT scheme to lapse after 18 February 2019 and DUT after 31 March 2019.

Personal income tax

  • Personal income tax rebate of 50% of tax payable by tax resident individuals for YA 2019, subject to a cap of $200.
  • Grandparent Caregiver Relief for tax resident working mothers with handicapped and unmarried dependent children regardless of the child’s age with effect from YA 2020.
  • NOR scheme will lapse after YA 2020.

Other changes

  • Restructure diesel tax regime with effect from 18 February 2019, including:
    1. Increase in the excise duty on diesel fuel to $0.20 per litre.
    2. Permanently reduce the annual special tax for diesel cars and taxis by $100 and $850 respectively.
    3. Road tax rebates for commercial diesel vehicles and additional cash grants for diesel buses ferrying students.
  • Reduce duty-free allowance for liquor products to two litres (from three litres) with effect from 1 April 2019.
  • The concessionary tax treatment under the Property Tax (Tourist Projects) Order will lapse after 18 February 2019.

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