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 Kolam Ayer . 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.
Best Accounting Firms In Central, SG
A key determinant for setting up a business in Kolam Ayer 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 Firms 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%.
Useful Tips For Singapore Business Start Up
A key determinant for setting up a business in a given jurisdiction is the tax regime in force. In this regard, both Hong Kong and Singapore boast of being one of the lowest tax jurisdictions in the world. Detailed below is a comparative overview of the tax system in Singapore Vs HK.
- Taxes are levied on a territorial principle i.e. companies and individuals are taxed on Singapore sourced income.
- Foreign sourced income (branch profits, dividends, service income, etc.) will be 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%.
- Taxes are levied on the territorial principle i.e. only on income "derived from or arising in" HK and not on income sourced outside the SAR.
- No tax is levied on profits arising abroad, even if they are remitted to Hong Kong.
Corporate Tax Rate
- Singapore: Current corporate income tax rate - 18%. However, corporate income tax rate effective 2010 - 17%. Note: The effective tax rate is much lower - below 9% for profits up to SGD 300,000 and capped at 18% for profits above SGD 300,000
- Hong Kong: Current corporate income tax rate - 16.5%
Goods and Services Tax (known as VAT/Sales tax in other countries)
- Singapore: 7%
- Hong Kong: Nil
Capital gains tax
- Singapore and Hong Kong: Nil (Capital loss expenses are correspondingly not allowed as deductions)
Group relief for losses
- Singapore: Allowed
- HK: Not allowed
- Singapore: Interest, royalties, rentals from movable properties, management and technical fees, and director's fees paid to non-residents (individuals or companies) are subject to withholding tax. There is no withholding tax levied on dividends.
- Hong Kong: Royalties, rentals from movable properties, and fees paid to non-resident entertainers or sportsmen for their performances in Hong Kong are subject to withholding tax. There are no withholding taxes levied on dividends and interest.
Double Tax Agreements
- Singapore: More than 50 bilateral comprehensive tax treaties
- HK: DTA network of 37 treaties
- Singapore: 1 January - 31 December
- HK: 1 April - 31 March
Filing tax returns
- Tax returns along with audited accounts must be filed with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore by 31 October each year.
- Note: Dormant companies (i.e no accounting transactions for the financial year) and exempt private companies (not more than 20 shareholders and shares are not held by another company) with an annual turnover of less than SGD 5 million are exempt from audit requirements and can file unaudited accounts.
- Tax returns along with audited accounts must be filed with the Inland Revenue Department by 31 April each year. The auditor must be a member of the HK Institute of Certified Public Accountants and must hold a practicing certificate.
- Note: Dormant companies (i.e no accounting transactions for the financial year) and small corporations (i.e total gross income does not exceed HKD 500,000) are exempt from audit requirements and can file unaudited accounts.
Professional Accounting Bodies In Singapore
The main purpose of any business is to make profits and not have any losses. Therefore, it is important to ensure a cost effective accounting system is in place. Handling accounts, transactions and other financial details is not an easy task but with the services of outsourced small business accounting services these can be achievable. Hence, looking for outsourced accounting services would be positive to the business.
Sometimes running a small business can become burdensome at times and this is why small business accounting services can lower costs and yet remain effective for the business owner. It also offers accounting software that eases the whole process of making records and tallying them over and over again. However, we also know that most of the small business owners or for that matter any other business owner is not a qualified accountant, and that is why they need to hire the services of a professional to handle this. And small business accounting services is the right choice as it not only reduces time but also personnel resources.
Small business accounting services have professionals who specialize in providing business accounting services support to clients. The outsourced accountant will handle the small business accounting work of your business. As the business owner, you will like to be informed about all the work that is being done with regard to accounting and bookkeeping of your business, so that you know where your business is heading and if you are making any profits or not.
Having a professional accounting or Certified Public Accountant will help to ensure that your business' financial statements or books will be properly kept for tax purposes. In Singapore, you will need to file your financial statements with the authorities. Inadvertently, these financial statements will be used to assess your company tax. Surely you do not wish to run afoul of the law. Therefore, it would be wise to ensure your company accounts are properly kept.
The whole purpose of having a professional from small business accounting services will make things easier for you, so that you pay your tax on time. Besides taxes, the outsourced accountant also keeps track of all transactions which have taken place. The information will then be provided to the business owner who can use it for making informed and strategic decisions pertaining to the business.