CPA Australia and the Tax Academy of Singapore have agreed to jointly develop the Singapore Taxation subject, under the CPA Program. This subject enables candidates to acquire leading-edge specialised training in the area of Singapore taxation.
The Tax Academy of Singapore is a collaboration between the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, the international accounting firms comprising Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC, the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants and the Law Society of Singapore. It is established as a non-profit institution to raise the professional competency of the tax community and to develop Singapore into a regional tax knowledge hub.
Singapore Taxation is open to all CPA Program candidates. However, individuals must be able to sit the exam in Singapore. Additionally, valuable face-to-face tutorials which support this subject are also held in Singapore, these tutorials are highly recommended but are not compulsory to attend.
The Singapore Taxation exam consists of 100 per cent written response questions. The exam for the Singapore Taxation subject is closed book. Individuals can only bring the approved tax acts recommended in the study guide into the exam.
The Singapore Taxation exam is only held in Singapore on one fixed date. Candidates must be available to attend an exam on the fixed date. Please ensure you read the related rules and regulations before you enrol in this subject.
The aims of this subject are:
- to provide individuals with an overview of the Singapore tax system, a sound foundation on the principles of taxation of income and a good appreciation of how these principles and the provisions of the Income Tax Act are applied in the taxation of individuals, unincorporated businesses and corporations
- to provide a good understanding of the Singapore Goods and Services Tax
On completion of this subject, you should be able to:
- apply the principles and concepts of taxation and the relevant provisions of the tax legislation to situations encountered
- correctly compute the assessable income or tax payable in certain factual situations
The Singapore Taxation subject comprises eight modules. A brief outline of each module is provided below.
||Recommended proportion of study time (%)
|1. Overview of the Singapore Tax Regime
|2. General Knowledge of Income Tax
|3. Income Tax (Corporate)
|4. Income Tax (Business)
|5. Income Tax (Individual)
|6. Income Tax (Others)
|7. Withholding Tax
|8. Goods and Services Tax
Module 1: Overview of the Singapore Tax Regime
Module 1 provides an overview of the Singapore tax system and the international aspects of income taxation.
- Taxation and public finance
- Singapore's fiscal policy
- Taxation in Singapore: History and policy
- Introduction to various taxes in Singapore
- International aspect of income taxation
- Sources of authority and information
- Appeals process
Module 2: General Knowledge of Income Tax
Module 2 explains the scope of tax, basis of taxation, and the general principles governing the deductibility of expenses. It also provides an overview of four specific regimes of deductions and allowances, namely, capital allowances, industrial building allowances, deduction in respect of trade losses and donations. The tax treatment for the unabsorbed deductions and allowances will also be discussed. The final part of the module covers the aspect of tax administration.
- Scope of taxation
- General principles of deduction of expenses
- Capital allowances for plant and machinery
- Industrial building allowances
- Land intensification allowances (LIA)
- Unabsorbed current year capital allowances, trade losses and donations
- Tax administration
Module 3: Income Tax (Corporate)
Module 3 focuses on the parts of the Income Tax Act that apply to companies. The first two parts introduce the attributes of a company and the scope of Singapore taxation that a company is subject to. Parts three to eleven focus on the topics covered in Module 2 in their application to a company. Parts twelve to seventeen cover the other types of schemes available to a company. The remaining parts provide examples of tax computations and a discussion of some business activities that are subject to specific provisions and regulations and the obligations of a company in relation to its tax affairs.
- Attributes of a company
- Taxation of companies
- Income chargeable to tax in Singapore
- Capital allowances
- Industrial building and land intensification allowances
- Assessable income
- Unabsorbed losses
- Group relief
- Carry-back relief system
- Research and development allowance (YA2010 to 2016)
- Cash grant for research and development expenditure for start-up company (YA2009 to 2013)
- Mergers and acquisitions allowance
- Tax reliefs
- Tax computation
- Businesses subject to specific tax treatment
- Filing obligations of a company
Module 4: Income Tax (Business)
Module 2, General Knowledge of Income Tax, outlined the basis of assessment, the charging sections, badges of trade, outgoings and deductions that form assessable income.
Module 4 elaborates the tax treatment and rules that are specific to both sole-proprietorship or self-employed and partnership. It also discusses the features and tax treatment of limited liability partnership (LLP) and limited partnerships (LP).
- Who is a sole-proprietorship or self-employed person
- Deductibility or non-deductibility of expenses incurred by sole-proprietor
- Medisave or CPF contributions
- Treatment of unabsorbed business losses and capital allowances
- Carry-back relief system
- Filing of returns and accounts
- Limited liability partnerships (LLPs)
- Limited partnerships (LP)
Module 5: Income Tax (Individual)
Module 5 elaborates on the tax treatment of income derived by individuals from income other than the carrying on of a trade, business, professions or vocation. In particular, it focuses on employment income and tax exemption/concessions given to individuals for other types of income such as Singapore-sourced investment income and royalty. It also discusses the conditions for claiming personal reliefs or rebates. The module also includes the preparation of tax computation for an individual by applying the knowledge put together in the module.
- Employment income
- Taxation of other types of non-trade income applicable to individuals
- Personal relief
- Tax rates and tax computation
- Requirement to file an income tax return
Module 6: Income Tax (Others)
Module 6 examines how clubs or similar institutions, trade associations, management corporations, town councils, trust and charities are dealt with under the Income Tax Act.
- Principle of mutuality
- Clubs or similar institutions
- Trade associations
- Management corporations
- Town council
- Filing obligations
Module 7: Withholding Tax
Module 7 provides an overview of the deeming provisions of the Income Tax Act and the general rules relating to withholding tax.
- Deeming provisions – section 12
- Withholding tax rules – section 45
- Appointment of agents
Module 8: Goods and Services Tax
Module 8 gives an overview of the major provisions of the GST Act and Regulations which deal with the conceptual components that make up the GST system in Singapore, the various Schemes granting GST relief to import and export of certain goods and services as well as the important GST administrative requirements.
- Scope of tax, supplies, place of supply and imports
- Time of supply
- Value of tax
- Exempt supplies
- Input tax
- Import GST suspension schemes
- Zero-rating: Exports and international services
- Other GST schemes
- Registration and de-registration
- Records, tax invoices and receipts and comptroller's power
- Return, payment and assessment
- Objection and appeals: Offences and penalties