Filing your employees’ earnings in Singapore can be daunting, but such taxation matters are necessary to run a business.
The Singapore IR8A form is a key document that must be submitted by 1 Mar each year to ensure compliance with tax regulations. In addition to the IR8A form, other forms and documents may need to be submitted to the tax authorities in Singapore.
It is important to keep track of these deadlines and requirements, as failure to do so can result in fines and other penalties. This guide will help you understand who needs to submit the form and how to do so correctly, so you can stay focused on running your business with peace of mind.
What is the Singapore IR8A Form?
The Singapore IR8A Form is a required document in Singapore containing information about employee earnings.
Employers are legally obligated under the Income Tax Act to prepare the Singapore IR8A form by 1 Mar each year. Employers must complete the form for each company employee to report their income/earnings to IRAS.
Depending on the different working conditions of the employees, employers may need to prepare other forms, such as Appendices 8A and 8B, as well as Form IR8S. The employer issues these forms and relates to their employees’ income for the previous year.
To complete the Singapore IR8A Form, employers need to include information for these types of employees:
- Full-time residents.
- Part-time residents.
- Non-residents who work in Singapore at any point during the year (except for income that has been cleared).
- Company directors, including non-residents.
- Board members who receive fees.
- Former employees who received income in 2022, such as gains from stock options.
- Suppose an employee is posted overseas, which is not incidental to their Singapore employment. In that situation, their employer is exempt from including a precise figure in the Singapore IR8A form for the income from foreign employment. Employers that are participating in the Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS) must only select “Income from Overseas Employment” under “Exempt/Remission Income.”
- Directors must be advised by their employers who are AIS participants to disclose their income separately on their tax filings. The reason is that non-executive directors are not regarded as employees.
Who Needs to Submit the Singapore IR8A Form?
To ensure compliance, an authorized individual must complete and sign the Singapore IR8A Form.
This individual may be a director, company secretary, sole proprietor, precedent partner, local representative of a foreign company, honorary secretary or treasurer of clubs and associations, manager, or any individual authorized by the employer.
While a signature is not mandatory for a computer-printed Singapore Form IR8A, the preparer must include the authorized person’s name, designation, contact number, and date.
Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS)
Employers must provide the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) with their employees’ income information for the previous year by 1 March.
The AIS allows for the electronic submission of the required information, eliminating the need for hardcopy forms and making the process less burdensome.
Beginning in 2023, companies with 5 or more employees, or those that received a notice to file their employees’ employment income information electronically, are required to participate in the AIS.
Failure to comply with the AIS requirements may result in a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment of up to 6 months, as outlined in section 94 of the Income Tax Act.
Which Supporting Forms for the Singapore IR8A Form Are Required To Be Submitted?
Additional forms related to the employee’s situation may need to be submitted to IRAS. If they match the descriptions below, employers can file these three documents with the Singapore IR8A Form for the same group of employees.
If they do not match these descriptions, employers must only file the Singapore IR8A Form for those employees.
Employees who receive benefits-in-kind such as non-cash perks or fringe benefits must submit Appendix 8A. These benefits include perks offered in addition to salaries, such as gym memberships, medical insurance, French classes, and more.
Other examples may include free dental care or parking. Employers must report the details of the taxable benefits-in-kind in the Appendix 8A form and enter the total value in item d9 of the Singapore IR8A Form.
Unless the benefits-in-kind are given an administrative concession or are exempt from income tax, employers must declare them in Appendix 8A.
All gains and earnings that an employee derives from their employment are subject to taxation unless they are expressly free from income tax or protected by an administrative concession.
Employees who have profited from Employee Stock Option (ESOP) Plans or other forms of Employee Share Ownership (ESOW) Plans must complete this form. These plans provide employees with an opportunity to own shares in the company they work for.
It is essential to document and report any earnings or gains from share options properly. ESOP profits are generally taxable in the year they are exercised, and ESOW profits are taxable in the year they are granted.
If an ESOW has a vesting period, the earnings will be taxed in the year they become vested. If an ESOP/ESOW plan has a selling restriction (moratorium), the gains are accumulated on the day the restriction is eliminated.
Employers do not need to declare transactions in Appendix 8B if the exercise or vesting of an ESOP or ESOW results in a “loss” because no gains are realized. The “loss” cannot be transferred to another ESOP or ESOW plan.
Employers must complete Form IR8S whenever there are extra CPF contributions on an employee’s earnings or when they have requested or intend to request refunds for excess contributions. CPF contribution rates can be found on the CPF website.
How to Submit the Singapore IR8A Form to IRAS
To submit the Singapore IR8A form to IRAS, employers can do so manually, via payroll software services, or through the Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS).
1. Via Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS)
Employers can submit the Singapore IR8A Form electronically through the Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS) for Employment Income on the IRAS website.
By March 1st of each year, employers falling under paragraph 3 of section 68(2) of the Income Tax Act must electronically submit information to IRAS regarding their employees’ income.
Employers with five or more employees are mandated to participate in AIS, while smaller businesses can opt-in to participate. Employers looking to register for YA 2024 can do so from April 1st, 2023, via the registration page.
Employers who are uncertain about their AIS registration status can verify it via the IRAS Service.
2. Via payroll software services
Payroll software services that offer integrated the Singapore Form IR8A submissions usually require.
Employers typically need to upload an IR8A.txt file to the IRAS myTaxPortal to validate their IRAS when using payroll software services that offer integrated Singapore Form IR8A submissions.
Some payroll software providers will automatically upload the IR8A.txt file to the IRAS myTaxPortal on the employer’s behalf, simplifying the submission process.
Although it requires some setup time, the IRAS system offers a faster and more efficient electronic submission method than hard copy forms.
Furthermore, the tax portal automatically updates the information on the Singapore IR8A Form, eliminating the need for employers to update it annually.
Employers who wish to confirm whether their payroll software supports the Singapore IR8A Form (and to what extent) can consult the IRAS List of Supporting Payroll Software Vendors for the AIS.
If an employer decides to submit the Singapore IR8A Form manually, they can download the Offline Application from the official IRAS website.
Employers who are not under the Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS) must distribute the hard copy Singapore IR8A Form and its supporting forms to their employees before 1 Mar of each year, allowing the employees to submit them on their behalf.
However, this option is not recommended as it places undue responsibility on the employees to submit the forms on their own behalf.
How We Can Help - SJH Advisory's Taxation Services
It is important to correctly file the Singapore IR8A Form to comply with Singapore’s tax regulations. The process can be complex, and several supporting documents may need to be filed, depending on the employee’s situation.
To ensure timely and accurate filings and avoid potential penalties, employers must understand the specific requirements of each type of form. Seeking the help of experienced tax professionals can maximize your tax benefits and ensure all filings are done correctly and on time.
It is important to stay up-to-date with any updates or modifications to Singapore’s tax laws in order to maintain compliance, as tax laws are subject to change.
At SJH Advisory, we understand the importance of staying compliant with tax regulations in Singapore. We offer various tax services to help you fulfill your tax obligations.
Our experienced tax professionals can assist you in filing the Singapore IR8A Form and its supporting documents and tax planning and optimization services.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you stay compliant and optimize your tax situation in Singapore. Explore our comprehensive suite of corporate tax services or contact us to schedule a free consultation.
Singapore IR8A Form - Frequently Asked Questions
The Singapore IR8A Form is a critical requirement that all employers operating in Singapore are required to comply with. This form is mandated by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and is used to report employee income under the Income Tax Act.
The form includes details including the employee’s name, income, tax deductions, and other contributions. It is crucial to ensure that the information provided in the form is accurate and up-to-date to avoid any potential legal complications.
Yes, Form IR8A is required. Every Singapore company must annually produce and submit IR8A and supporting paperwork for each employee (Appendices 8A and 8B, and IR8S).
Per section 68(2) of the Income Tax Act, employers must prepare and submit the Singapore IR8A Form to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and its Appendices 8A and 8B, or Form IR8S where applicable, for every employee by the deadline of 1 Mar each year.
Failure to comply with this regulation may result in penalties or legal action against the employer.
Employers with 5 or more employees must begin participating in AIS by 2023. Companies that just joined AIS must give permission to their employees or a payroll vendor to provide the required information to IRAS.
CorpPass can be used to authorize vendors and employees for business transactions. However, SingPass must be used for verification while using government digital services.
To download the necessary forms, go to the official website of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) at www.iras.gov.sg. Once on the homepage, look for the “Taxes” section and click “Individual Income Tax.” Click “Employers” for the necessary documents, download the forms, and fill them up as required.