Accounting and Finance Annual Compliance

Annual Return Filing in Singapore

Annual Return Filing in Singapore

Annual Return filing in Singapore is by electronic means lodged form with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (ACRA). You must comply with the necessities of ACRA, which governs and regulates Singapore’s Corporate law. The form shall include essential factors, for example, company details, information on its directors, members, secretaries, share capital, the company’s accounts, and the date of an Annual General Meeting. The information on annual return filing will help the company shareholders to make decisions about the company.

Table of Contents

Why is Annual Return Filing in Singapore Important?

At the end of every financial year, the annual report acts as a snapshot of your company. In the Annual return filing in Singapore, there are details like the company’s financial statements, shareholdings, CS information, and directors. Therefore, annual return filing in Singapore is important for the following reasons:

  1. Compliance – As a company in Singapore, the Annual returns help you to meet the legal obligations
  2. Transparency – By making important information publicly available, such as shareholders, creditors, and investors, annual returns provide transparency to the stakeholders.
  3. Record Keeping – For future reference or for dealing with banks, suppliers, or potential partners, the annual return can be useful. Also, it can serve as the official record of your company details.
  4. Avoiding Penalties- if you fail to file the annual returns on time, then it will result in penalties and legal consequences.

Steps on Annual Return Filing in Singapore

The quick steps for the Annual return filing in Singapore are mentioned below:

Step 1 – Company’s Financial year-end

The first step is to determine your company’s financial year-end, as it is the date when your company’s financial statements are prepared. This will determine at what period you will need to file your annual returns. You have to make sure before starting with the annual return filling in Singapore that you know the right financial year end of your company.

Step 2- Financial Statements

For the annual return filing in Singapore, you have to formulate the financial statements before filing annual returns, which will include the profit and loss statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheet. During the financial year, these statements will provide a summary of your company’s financial performance. 

Step 3- Company Records

For annual return filing in Singapore, you have to update your company records and make sure that all your company records, together with shareholding, directors, and CS information, are all up to date. All this information is included in annual returns; therefore, it is important to maintain the records accurately.

Step 4- Engross a Company Secretary

For the annual return filing in Singapore, Within six months of the incorporation of the company, it is required to appoint a qualified company Secretary in Singapore. For compliance with various regulatory needs, including the annual returns, the Company Secretary plays a very important role. Before you proceed with the annual filing, it is very important to engage with the Company Secretary if you don’t have one.

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Step 5- ACRA Filing System

For annual return filing in Singapore, the online filing system provided by the ACRA for businesses is called BizFile+, for submitting their annual returns. You have to access this system by using your CorpPass credentials. Before logging in, you will have to make sure that you have all the required information and the documents.

Step 6- Annual Return Form

 You will have to complete the Annual Return Form after you have access to the ACRA Online Filing System. The details of the company officers, the Company’s Financial statements, and shareholding information for annual return filing in Singapore.

Step 7- Filing fee

There is an associated filing fee for submitting annual returns. The fees can vary, which will depend on your type of company and also at what time you are filing, which should be on time. Make sure that you have the required funds in your account to pay fees while submitting your form.

Step 8 – Submit Annual Return

Make sure that you have reviewed your information before submitting the form for accuracy. Once you are sure of all your details, then submit the form online through the ACRA online filing system.

Step 9 – Filing Acknowledgment

 You will receive the filing acknowledgement from ACRA upon successful submission of your form. This is going to serve as proof in the future that you have submitted the obligation of Annual return filing. For future reference, do keep the acknowledgement in a safe place.

Companies exempted from attaching Financial Statements

The Singaporegovernment, since 2014, has required companies to document financial statements in XML format, which is a free, open-source format. According to XBRL, companies that are omitted from filing financial statements are-

  1. Foreign companies
  2. Limited by guarantee
  3. Foreign company branches

Other companies that are exempted from attaching their audited financial statement in the Annual return which is as follows:

Small companies

Small companies are those companies in which there are following criteria:

  1. Total Annual Revenue should be no more than S$10 MILLION
  2. Total assets will be less than S$10MILLION
  3. 50 employees maximum

Exempt Private Companies

  1. Exempt private companies are those who are with:
  2. Maximum 20 shareholders
  3. There should be no corporate shareholders

Dormant EPC

The Dormant EPCs are those companies that have not carried any business and have not even produced any revenue in the past financial year

Documents Required for the Annual Return Filing in Singapore

It is right to do the Annual Return Filing in Singapore within thirty days from the day of the AGM according to the Singapore Companies Act. The documents required for the filing of the Annual Return Filing in Singapore are as follows:

  1. Company name
  2. Registration number
  3. Office address
  4. Principal activities
  5. Information about the Secretary and company directors
  6. Shareholders detail, Share capital
  7. Annual financial statements
  8. Auditors

Also, the director of the company needs to sign the annual return filing in Singapore before the form has been submitted; in this process, points to remember are:

The company has to include the examined annual financial statements while submitting the report of Annual Return Filing through ACRA.

Some circumstances can allow you to file an Annual return without the AGM, but mainly, the deadline is thirty days after the company has held the AGM

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Annual Return Filling of Different Business Structures in Singapore

There are different business structures in Singapore, which are Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, and companies. All the Annual return filing in Singapore processes of the different business structures are mentioned below

Sole Proprietorship in Singapore

The simplest form of the business structure is Sole Proprietorship, which makes it widespread among solo entrepreneurs. Things you have to know for sole proprietorship Annual return filing in Singapore are:

Income Tax Filing

A sole Proprietorship is not known as a separate legal entity in Singapore. The personal income of the owner is only the business income. The personal income tax return should be filed annually by the sole proprietors. This will include reporting on their individual income tax return of the business income and expenses.

Tax Deadlines

The personal income tax return deadline for filing for inhabitants in Singapore usually falls on April 15th of every year. The deadline for non-residents will vary depending on their tax residency status.

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Record Keeping

Maintaining details of the financial records, income statements, receipts, invoices, and expense records should be done by the Sole Proprietors. In the case of audits by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), it is important that you keep proper records, which will lead to accurate tax reporting. To maintain record-keeping, the first principle is to keep separate business and personal Finances in Sole proprietorships.

Partnership in Singapore

 In partnership, there is a requirement for two or more partners to start a business, and here are the requirements for filing an annual report for partnership in Singapore. 

Tax return

In Singapore, the Partnership has to file the partnership tax return (Form P) with the IRAS. The details about the partnership income, expenses, and the distribution of profits among partners will be provided by this return.

Individual Tax Filing

In a partnership, every partner needs to include a share of partnership income in the Individual tax return. Partnerships do provide partners with a statement that shows their partnership income shares.

Tax Deadlines

For the annual return filing in Singapore, partnerships have particular deadlines that are set by the IRAS. The partners as individuals have to follow the personal income tax filing deadlines which apply to them.

Record Keeping

For Partnership in Singapore, you have to keep effective record keeping to ensure financial transparency, compliance with regulatory requirements, and smooth business operations. Before starting record keeping, there must be a well-drafted partnership agreement in place that highlights the roles, responsibilities, and profit-sharing arrangements among partners. Also, like the sole proprietorship, there must be a clear separation of business and personal finances. Each partner should establish separate bank accounts for the financial transactions.

Companies in Singapore

Private Limited companies and public Ltd companies in Singapore are separate legal entities. Below are the points that you need to know for Annual return filing in Singapore

Annual Return Filing

For annual return filing in Singapore, companies have to file their annual returns with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and corporate income Tax returns that form C-S pr Form C to the IRAS. The company’s directors, financial statements, and shareholders’ details are mentioned in the annual return.

Shareholder Reporting

In Singapore companies, shareholders receive a tax statement, which is known as the form IR8A, which highlights their income from the company. The information is used by the shareholders so that they can report their earnings in the individual tax returns.

Tax Deadlines

Generally, companies have up to seven months from the financial year’s end to file the annual returns. The deadlines can vary in Singapore as they depend on the financial year end, and tax filing deadlines also vary.

Record Keeping

In Singapore, record-keeping is an important aspect of maintaining transparency and making sure that there are smooth operations. To facilitate compliance with legislative obligations, the companies in Singapore have to maintain accurate records. The paramount work in Singapore is to maintain the financial records as these help in preparing financial statements and complying with tax regulations.

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

A shareholders’ meeting, which is held every calendar year at a particular interval, is an AGM. In this meeting, the company’s shareholders have the right to take part in certain company decisions, which will only work after their approval. The main purpose of the AGM is to check the company’s financial statements, which with simple majority shareholders must approve.

The Annual General Meeting is required by the Singapore Companies Act unless the company themselves has chosen not to do AGMs with shareholders resolution. If the AGM is not done by the company, then all the matters will be settled by passing written resolutions.

There are certain cases in which ACRA themselves allow companies to submit annual returns without holding the AGM. Companies have to apply through BizFile for this process, although ACRA can reject the application, particularly if the application is submitted more than once; ACRA usually notifies after fourteen days to the company.

If the company has filed its annual return late with ACRA, then the company will need to pay an additional late lodgement fee. As the number of days increases in default, the late fees also increase.

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Annual Financial Statements

The Singapore Companies Act tells us that all companies that are incorporated in Singapore and foreign company branches in Singapore need to prepare and present the financial statements that follow the SFRS. The SFRS is substantially the same as the IFRS, which is issued by the International Accounting Standard Board (IASB). A financial statement that should be prepared is mentioned below:

  1. Report of Directors
  2. Auditor report independent
  3. Statement of Income
  4. Statement of Financial Position
  5. Statement of Cash Flow
  6. Shareholder’s equity statement
  7. Corresponding notes to financial statements

Consequences of not complying with filing Requirements        

If someone forgets to file annual returns and tax returns, then it can be quite a loss. Your company will be required to deal with the consequences of not filing the required documents.

Non- Compliance with ACRA       

Companies that will not file annual returns within three months of the filing deadline will have to pay a penalty of S$300. If, after the deadline, your company also doesn’t file for more than three months, then the fine will increase to S$600. ACRA has made these changes recently for non-compliance in filing annual returns, which took effect on April 30, 2021.        

Non-compliance with IRAS

In IRAS, they will give you an estimated Notice of Assessment (NOA) when and if someone has not filed the annual tax return before the given deadline. NOA can be higher than your real earnings. When you have got your NOA, after that, you will have to pay the estimated tax within one month. If your company fails to comply with NOA, then IRAS can take legal action against your company.           

There is no filing extension given by the IRAS; previously, IRAS did extend the submission of Form C-S/C until December 15. Starting the YA 2021, every company should submit their Form C-S/C by November 30, 2021.

What is Form C- S?

The simplified version of a corporate tax return is Form C-S, which does not require the company to attribute tax calculations and financial statements. If your company wants to apply using the C-S form, then the company should meet the below-mentioned requirements:

  1. The Singapore legal entity should be your company
  2. The company should not generate amounts more than $5 million in annual revenue
  3. The company should not claim the return on allowance, group relief, investment allowance, foreign tax credit, or tax deducted at source.

Conclusion

In Singapore, Filing annual returns will include the preparation of financial documents, conducting the Annual General meetings, and Coordinating and submitting the correct filings in the given timeframe to both ACRA and IRAS. This ensures to maintain compliance with ACRA’s regulations and transparency with good standing. With Singapore’s streamlined processes and digital infrastructure, fulfilling this requirement is manageable, empowering businesses to focus on growth and innovation. Stay proactive, stay compliant, and leverage professional assistance when needed to navigate the distinctions of annual return filing in Singapore seamlessly.

FAQs

  1. When is the annual return filing in Singapore due?

    The Annual return filing in Singapore is due within the 30days form company's annual general meetings (AGM) date or when the financial year will end, whatever comes before.

  2. What happens if I fail to file annual returns on time?

    Failure to file the annual returns on time will result in penalties and legal consequences. Your company can also be struck off from the register if ACRA decides to take that step.

  3. Can you change your company’s financial year end?

    Yes, you can change your company's financial year-end, and for that, there are particular procedures and requirements that you have to follow. You should contact a professional like a corporate service provider or company secretary.

  4. Who needs to do annual return filing in Singapore ACRA?

    All Singapore companies that are incorporated will have to file annual returns.

  5. What are Annual Return Filing in Singapore?

    The Annual return filing in Singapore is the action that the directors of the company have to take each year for the review and confirmation of the company’s details on the company register.

  6. How many types of return filing are there?

    There are, in total, seven ITR forms for the individuals.

  7. Will dormant companies need to file the annual return?

    Yes, the dormant companies are required to file the annual returns with ACRA. Some companies can also be eligible for the simplified version of the annual return form.

  8. Can you amend the annual return after the submission?

    No, you can’t make any amendments to the annual return after you have submitted as it is important to review each piece of information carefully before you submit.

  9. What is XBRL reporting in Singapore?

    Extensible Business Reporting Language is the XBRL. It is the language for the electronic communication of business and financial data worldwide.

  10. Do Foreign Companies that operate in Singapore need to file Annual returns?

    Yes, foreign companies are also required to file annual returns with ACRA, which is registered in Singapore.

  11. What are MGT 7 and AOC 4?

    To file the company's financial statements, AOC-4 is used with the director's report and other attachments needed, which include the annual return. MGT-7 e form is needed to file the company's annual return.

  12. What are the annual returns?

    The important information about the company and the necessary credentials are revealed by the annual returns.

  13. What is AGM Singapore?

    AGM is the compulsory annual meeting of the shareholders

  14. What is the financial year of Singapore?

    The financial year of Singapore starts on April 1 and will end on March 31st of the particular year.

  15. Who needs to file the Annual Return in the form GSTR-9?

    The form GSTR-9 is given by the individual who has been registered as a normal taxpayer, which includes the SEZ unit or SEZ developer and also the taxpayers who have quieted their composition schemes to normal taxpayers at any time of the financial year.

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