COVID-19

Singapore jurisdiction implications

 

  Responses

Filing extensions for compliance filings

No changes at present. Grant Thornton can extend the individual tax return deadline from 18 April (e-filing) to 30 June if they are a client and we make a submission by 30 March 2020

Payment deadline extensions  No changes at present for all except companies making tax payment on Estiamted Chargeable Income by instalment.  The instalment plan has been automatically extended by 2 months. 

Any short term changes to tax rates 

No changes at present

Any changes or relaxed implementation of tax requirements during these times No changes at present. SGX listed companies have been granted a 2 month extension to hold their AGMs, to 30 June 2020. This may lead to an extension on the corporate tax filing deadline but there have been no announcements or suggestions of this yet.

Guidance to local employees  and employers  This changes on a daily basis. Please see http://mom.gov.sg/covid-19 for the most up to date information. A summary of measures introduced thus far is as follows:

- From 31 January 2020, MOM will reject all new work pass applications for foreign workers from mainland China until further notice. Renewal applications for existing work pass holders will not be affected.

- All returning employees with Hubei travel history within 14 days prior to arrival in Singapore will be quarantined at home or other suitable facilities.

- All employees arriving from mainland China (excluding Hubei province) between 31 January 2020, 1800 hrs and 18 February 2020, 2359 hrs were required to go on a Leave of Absence (LOA) for 14 days from the day of arrival in Singapore. (1)

On Stay-Home Notice if arrive in Singapore

- Mainland China (excluding Hubei province) - After 18 February 2020, 2359 hours

- Daegu city and Cheongdo county (South Korea) - After 26 February 2020, 2359 hours

- Iran, northern Italy(2) or South Korea - After 4 March 2020, 2359 hours

- Italy, France, Germany and Spain - After 15 March 2020, 2359 hours

- ASEAN countries(3), Japan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom - After 16 March 2020, 2359 hours 

- After 20 March 2020, 2359 hours

- All Work Pass Holders (including dependants) planning to enter/return to Singapore, regardless of mode of travel, must apply to MOM for entry approval

- Requests can be submitted up to 10 days before the date of arrival

- Employers should wait for MOM’s approval before asking pass holders to travel to Singapore

- Pass holders must show printout of approval on check-in and at ICA checkpoint

- All returnees will be placed on a 14-day SHN

- Enforcement action may be taken against errant employers and employees who do not comply with requirements

- All Singapore Residents and Long-Term Pass Holders who leave S’pore from 27 Mar will be charged unsubsidised rates at public hospitals if:

     - admitted for suspected COVID-19

     - have symptoms within 14 days of returning

     - dedicated facilities set up for Singaporeans returning from UK/US to serve Stay-Home Notices

  - In addition, employees who exhibit fever and/or other symptoms of respiratory illness upon arrival (4), regardless of travel history, will be required to remain in their place of residence at all times for a 14-day period under the Stay-Home Notice (SHN).

(1) The leave of absence does not apply retrospectively to people who returned to Singapore from mainland China before 31 Jan 2020, 6pm. The earlier advisories issued on 27 January 2020 for preschools and education, healthcare and eldercare sectors would continue.

(2) Refers to the following 8 administrative regions of northern Italy: Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige / Südtirol.

(3) List of ASEAN countries besides Singapore: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam.

(4) These employees will also be required to undergo a COVID-19 swab test at the checkpoint, regardless of the travel history.

Current rules around movement  This is also changing on a daily basis.

From 23 March 2359hours:

Short-term visitors: No entry or transit through Singapore
Work pass holders: Entry/return for those providing essential services (and their dependents)
All Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long Term Pass Holders returning to Singapore:
     - From Hubei: 14 day quarantine.
     - From all other countries: 14 day Stay-Home Notice.

Employment support to employees  MOM has issued a directive requiring firms to notify them if they implement any cost saving measures that has an impact on their employee's monthly salaries.

As a result of the Singapore/Malaysia closure there are some reliefs available if an employer has been required to find accommodation for Malaysian employees who previously communted from Malaysia and have stayed in Singapore to continue working whilst the border is closed. 

Financial business support and in particular, any specific sectors these apply to 

Please see
https://www.enterprisesg.gov.sg/campaigns/budget-2020/access-financing and https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/budget-2020-s-4-billion-support-package-for-workers-firms-amid-12446082 for further details.

 

Last updated: 1:30pm 27 March 2020