Which is an ideal jurisdiction for company incorporation in Asia? Singapore and Hong Kong have been dominant players in the Asian region, vying for the position of “the best place to do business.” But the crucial questions are, which of these jurisdictions have an edge over the other? Is incorporating a business easier in Singapore or in Hong Kong?
Strategic location and attractive tax benefits make Singapore the most preferred location for the overseas companies to set up their business. Various options are – opening up a Branch Office, a Representative Office or a Subsidiary in Mount Vernon . The country also has liberal immigration policies. If the company wants to set up their regional head quarters in Singapore they are also provided with Financial Assistance.
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A key determinant for setting up a business in Mount Vernon is the tax regime in force. In this regard Singapore boast of being one of the lowest tax jurisdictions in the world. Detailed below is an overview of the tax system and Accounting Services in Singapore.
Tax jurisdiction Singapore: Taxes are levied on a territorial principle i.e. companies and individuals are taxed on Singapore sourced income. In addition, the Foreign sourced income (branch profits, dividends, service income, etc.) are taxed when it is remitted or deemed remitted into Singapore unless the income was already subjected to taxes in a jurisdiction with headline tax rates of at least 15%.
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The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has imposed a new scheme known as the Production and Innovation Credit (PIC) to benefit logistics companies in Singapore. For several years IRAS was designing strategies for logistics department to be at par with international companies of Japan and China so they came up with PIC.
The several ways PIC Grant can benefit the logistics companies are listed below:
Funds for automated machines
The PIC scheme has been very beneficial for the logistics companies as they can purchase automated machines and devices. The entire funding is covered by IRAS PIC Grant. As a result, the companies can reach higher levels with increased production and returns. The automated machines also reduce the cost of extra labour and the job can be finished in less time. The productivity becomes higher resulting in greater profits thus competing in the international market.
The experts of IRAS also help these companies to come up with efficient strategies to enhance their productivity. The highly educated panel of IRAS has a lot of experience when it comes to managing financial growth of a company. In most of the cases, the managers of these logistics company are not well accustomed with the strategies to match the international standards. A proper analysis by the IRAS experts will ultimately lead to higher sales and improve the quality of their service.
Logistics companies are a huge blunder when it comes to paying taxes. The tax keeps on mounting and at the end, the companies have to pay a large sum compromising their profit. So the IRAS comes into the scenario and helps these companies set up various plans to solve problems regarding taxation. There can be tax deductions up to 400% in several cases. This will help the companies to provide their services at a cheaper rate to beat their competitors.
The cash pay-out option
The small and growing businesses are the ones who can be hugely benefitted by this cash pay-out option. To aid these companies the Singapore government has come up with many strategies so that they can reach the heights of big companies. With the cash pay-out option, the financially distressed companies can invest in modern equipment and improve their standards.
Productivity along with improvement of Logistics Companies
The PIC Grant, 2014 offers productivity with improvement of the companies all at the same time. There are certain regulations and to be eligible, these companies need to invest in several areas of Singapore economy. This will ultimately benefit the logistics companies but at the same time, the government is doing its part.
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The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore regulate the businesses, public accountants, and the accounting services in Singapore. ACRA, unlike other government regulators, also facilitates for the promotion of these entities.
As a national regulator, ACRA demands strict statutory compliance from these entities. For this reason, Singapore businesses are better off with the assistance of accounting services in Singapore.
Compared to other countries, it is easier, seamless and effortless to open a company in Singapore. Although it depends on individual choices, ACRA advises foreigners to take assistance from external firms offering Singapore company registration services. There are many firms in Singapore offering incorporation services along with many other corporate business services like, accounting, auditing and taxation to different national and international clients.
Accounting Services for Small and Medium Enterprises in Singapore
Singapore's taxation year or the Year of Assessment (YA), starts on 1 January and ends on 31 December. However, in case of many Singapore companies, the end of their financial year does not coincide with stipulated date, i.e., 31 December.
These business entities still have to complete their financial reporting and tax filing, as per the due dates issued by ACRA and IRAS (Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore). They need to host an annual general meeting and table their financial statements for the review and approval of their shareholders.
Genuine and accredited accounting firms in Singapore assist its clients to maintain their books of accounts, by offering their flawless and punctual bookkeeping services. These firms ensure that each and every financial transaction is entered and accounted for. These firms also offer preparation of bank reconciliation, XBRL, and directors' reports, along with the financial analysis on weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis.
The well-known CPA firms, while preparing the financial statements of clients prepare a balance sheet, profit and loss statement and cash flow statement. The 'books of account' maintained by the client, plays a major role in preparing these statements. Most of the entries and inputs in these statements are retrieved from what is found in the client's books of accounts. These financial documents are prepared in compliance with the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS). In addition to that, different types of transactions are treated as per the set principles and governing practices of the governing bodies.
In order to offer unmatched and high-quality accounting and auditing services to the clients, firms offering accounting services employ only experienced and certified auditors. These professionals are trained to structure their auditing reports on the data contained in the books of accounts, submitted by clients for inspection. After the auditing reports are prepared and authenticated by the prime service provider, these reports are submitted to shareholders, investors, employees, management and the government regulators for analysis and approval. A comprehensive auditing report serves as a definitive medium for the client, to take speculative decisions about the future course of their business. Therefore, preparing such report, from a well-known and qualified audit firm in Singapore is much more necessary.
After understanding the importance and necessity of well-structured audit report, business management proceeds to hire an external auditing firm for conducting internal audits of their company. The reports generated, allow them an insight into the effectiveness of processes, internal checks and methods that are in place in the organization. On the other hand, the shareholders of the company are also empowered to hire audit services in Singapore, for conducting parallel external audits for them.
The meticulously prepared financial reports are essential for gauging the financial health of a company. These reports also reveal its weaknesses and help the management in taking preventive measures against them. Remember, apart from exempted companies, every single Singapore business must file their financial statements with the ACRA.
It is the duty of the corporate business services firms based in Singapore to advise and help their clients with accurate Singapore tax filing. ACRA specifically mandates; that it is a duty of the business service-providing firm to educate and advise its clients on GST registration in Singapore, GST filing, ECI filing, Withholding tax and other taxes. Most importantly, it assists the client in the careful preparation of its corporate income tax.
The CPA's working at these firms usually takes into account the tax rebates, incentives, deductions and exemptions that client qualifies for, to incorporate those relevant details in the financial statements. The firm also assists Singapore businesses in complying with the ACRA's XBRL filing requirements, by converting their business data into the XBRL format.