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Budget 2023

Reactionary comments on the Singapore Budget 2023 from Grant Thornton

Singapore, 14 February 2023 – Off the back of the Singapore Budget announcement by Finance Minister Mr Lawrence Wong, experts from Grant Thornton Singapore share their thoughts.

On Budget 2023: 

KOH Soo How, GST Partner, Grant Thornton Singapore (许序浩, 消费税合伙人,致同新加坡)

"Budget 2023 offered a good variety of valentine roses as promised by the Finance Minister, from cushioning lower-income households from the GST rate increase and rising cost of living to supporting businesses deal with a post-pandemic world of geopolitical risks, global economic competition and volatility. However, it also came with thorns in the form of higher taxes on luxury cars and tobacco and higher stamp duty on higher value properties.”


On the increase in monthly ceiling for CPF: 

Adrian SHAM, Tax and Private Clients Partner, Grant Thornton Singapore (沈建華, 税务合伙人,致同新加坡)

“We are not surprised by the increase in the monthly ceiling for CPF. While there is no change in the annual ceiling, it is a step in the right direction. We expect the annual wage ceiling to be increased in due course.

"The staggered approach should allow employers to manage the additional employer's CPF costs once the new ceiling starts in January 2026 while not creating additional burden.”


On the increase in Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD): 

Adrian SHAM, Tax and Private Clients Partner, Grant Thornton Singapore (沈建華, 税务合伙人,致同新加坡)

“The government's recent wealth tax focus has been seen through the increase in stamp duty for properties. Given the recent attention and increase in property prices, we are not surprised to see the increase in BSD.  

"The increase in BSD for residential properties above SGD 1.5 million will mostly impact those looking to purchase private properties. 

"We believe that the government could have done more by levying taxes on the number vacant properties in Singapore.”


On the top-up tax for the minimum effective tax rate: 

David SANDISON, Head of Tax and Singapore Practice Leader, Grant Thornton Singapore

“Singapore is less non committal as regards the implementation of BEPs pillar 2 provision by 2025. Having said that, Singapore has allowed flexibility by indicating that it will observe the global implementation timelines and approaches and adapt its position accordingly”.

On the Enterprise Innovation Scheme: 

Eng Min LOR, Tax Partner, Grant Thornton Singapore (盧英敏, 税务合伙人, 致同新加坡)

“Extending the 400% enhanced deduction to training expenditures is a good move, however, limiting it to courses approved by SkillsFuture may limit the effectiveness of this change. Enhancing the R&D claim from 250% to 400% should also encourage more companies to undertake R&D, however, fundamentally, what constitutes R&D is sometimes a difficult question to address in practice.”



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