On 14 February 2023, the Singapore Budget 2023 Statement was officially delivered. The budget is designed to cushion the impact of global economic uncertainties on the local economy and to support the nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, we will explore the key highlights of Singapore Budget 2023 for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including increased financing, taxes for multinational enterprises (MNEs), the Enterprise Innovation Scheme, higher monthly CPF contribution by 2026, and more.
Extension of Existing Grants for SMEs
The Enterprise Development Grant was extended for three more years until 31 March 2026 to fund initiatives that transform, improve and expand businesses.
Additionally, the government has extended the Enterprise Financing Scheme, which provides working capital and trade financing for SMEs.
More Enterprise Financing
The Singapore Budget 2023 has also announced additional funding options to help SMEs secure financing and expand their businesses. The government has allocated $1 billion to enhance the SMEs financing support program, providing them with more accessible and flexible financing options through government-assisted loans. SMEs can use these funds to invest in technology, upgrade their operations, expand their business and more.
SMEs can benefit from the additional enterprise financing programmes such as the Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS), which has been extended until March 2024. This will allow more SMEs to access financing support for their business activities such as acquiring fixed assets, working capital, or trade financing.
These initiatives demonstrate the government’s commitment to support SMEs, enabling them to drive economic growth and create more job opportunities for Singaporeans.
Increased Taxes for MNEs
The Singapore Budget 2023 has also announced measures to increase taxes for MNEs. This includes a new digital services tax that will be imposed on certain digital services provided by non-resident companies, such as online advertising and digital marketplaces. This measure aims to ensure that MNEs contribute their fair share of taxes to Singapore’s economy. However, it is important to note that these measures will not affect SMEs that are not engaged in digital services or do not have a significant global presence.
MNEs operating in Singapore will see an increase in their taxes. The GST rate will be raised from 7% to 9%, with the 8% rate already in effect from 1st January 2023 and the increase to 9% taking effect from 1st January 2024. The increase in the GST rate is necessary to support the nation’s spending on social services, infrastructure, and healthcare. However, the government has introduced the GST Voucher Scheme to help lower-income households cope with the increase in the GST rate.
Overall, the increased taxes for MNEs are part of the government’s efforts to promote a fair and equitable tax system while supporting SMEs’ growth and development.
The New Enterprise Innovation Scheme
Additionally, the Singapore Budget 2023 has announced a new Enterprise Innovation Scheme (EIS) for SMEs to invest in innovation and technology. This initiative will provide SMEs with a more comprehensive and streamlined approach to accessing funding for innovation projects. The EIS provides funding and support for SMEs to adopt new technologies and develop new products and services.
The EIS will implement a new tax measure and improve existing ones. Additionally, eligible businesses have the option to convert 20% of their total qualifying expenditure for each Year of Assessment, up to a maximum of $100,000 into cash.
This initiative demonstrates the government’s commitment to supporting SMEs’ innovation and growth, driving Singapore’s economic transformation towards a more innovative and competitive economy.
Higher Monthly CPF Contribution by 2026
The Singapore Budget 2023 has also announced an increase in the monthly Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rates, which will affect both employers and senior workers (aged 55 to 70).
From 2023 to 2024, the total employee and employer contribution rates for senior workers will increase as follow:
– aged 55 to 60 (1.5 percentage points to 31 per cent)
– aged 60 to 65 (1.5 percentage points to 22 per cent)
– aged 65 to 70 (1 percentage point to 16.5 per cent)
This measure aims to help Singaporeans save more for their retirement and healthcare needs, but it may also increase the labor costs for SMEs and affect their hiring decisions. SMEs should take this into consideration when planning their business operations and finances.
The government will also introduce the Silver Support Scheme, which provides additional financial assistance for low-income elderly citizens.
How We Can Help - SJH Advisory's Taxation Services
In conclusion, the Singapore Budget 2023 is a comprehensive plan to support the nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and to prepare for future economic uncertainties. SMEs can benefit from the various grants, financing schemes, and support measures to transform their businesses and stay competitive.
At SJH Advisory, we are committed to helping SMEs navigate the complexities of Singapore’s tax system. With the announcement of Singapore Budget 2023, we are committed to helping SMEs take advantage of the various tax incentives and reliefs offered by the government.
Our team of experienced tax professionals can assist SMEs with tax planning, compliance, and reporting. We can help you reduce your tax liabilities and increase your cash flow. We also offer personalized tax solutions tailored to the specific needs and goals of each client, ensuring the success of your business. Contact us today to find out how we can help your SME thrive in Singapore’s dynamic business environment!
Singapore Budget 2023 - Frequently Asked Questions
The Enterprise Innovation Scheme is a funding and support scheme designed to help SMEs innovate and transform their businesses.
The GST Voucher Scheme is a scheme that provides financial assistance to lower-income households to help them cope with the increase in the GST rate.
No, the increased taxes for MNEs will not affect SMEs that are not engaged in digital services or do not have a significant global presence. The new digital services tax will only be imposed on certain digital services provided by non-resident companies, such as online advertising and digital marketplaces.
The increase in CPF contribution rates from 2023 to 2026 may increase labor costs for SMEs and affect their hiring decisions. SMEs should take this into consideration when planning their business operations and finances.
The Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant has been extended to 31 March 20253, while the Working Capital Loan Scheme, which is an extension of the Enterprise Financing Scheme, has been extended until March 2024.