ACRA and IRAS New Initiative Allows Singapore SMEs to Automate Preparation and Filing of Statutory Returns


Recently, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority and Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore has collaborated with accounting software providers to integrate statutory filing requirements into the vendors’ software. This initiative aims to aid small to medium enterprises to stay competitive and relevant, following the Smart Nation initiative.

What is ACRA and IRAS Seamless Filing?

IRAS and ACRA partnered up with accounting software providers to create a new digital solution, allowing these enterprises to automate their statutory filings with both government bodies seamlessly. This solution integrates the requirements for filing annual and tax returns into the accounting software, which allows companies to record their accounting transactions and create the necessary statutory filings utilising the new software.

The software is linked to both IRAS and ACRA through the APIs or Application Programming Interfaces. Therefore, companies can prepare and file their regulatory filings without having to log into the IRAS and ACRA portals.

What are the Benefits of ACRA and IRAS Seamless Filing?

Small firms currently can take up to around nine hours to manually prepare and file for the necessary tax and annual returns with both IRAS and ACRA. However, the new seamless initiative allows these companies to cut down the preparation and filing process to only about half-an-hour. They can file the Form C-S or corporate income tax return with IRAS and submit to ACRA for the annual return with financial statements in simplified XBLR format in one go. Hence, companies can save time and enhance their productivity and efficiency.

The seamless filing solution also helps reduce errors in the tax and annual filings since the filings are autogenerated with the use of the software’s accounting data, and submitted directly to both organizations.

Who Can Adopt This Solution?

This new initiative is suitable for smaller firms with simple accounting transactions and tax matters. Nevertheless, not all types of companies can adopt this solution. Here are the criteria companies must meet to be able to use the solution.

  • ACRA Filings: A Singapore company can file financial statements and annual return in simplified XBRL format if it has a revenue of SGD 500,000 or less and has total assets of SGD 500,000 or less during the current fiscal year. Also, the company should not be a financial institution, not listed or are in the process of issuing their equity instruments or debts for trading on a securities exchange in the country and are not listed on a securities exchange outside of the country. On the other hand, a company can utilize the accounting software to submit an annual return with ACRA if it is either using PDF format when filing financial statements as a company limited by guarantee or it is not obligated to file financial statements as a solvent exempt private firm or a dormant relevant firm.
  • IRAS Filings: A Singapore company can use the accounting software to file tax returns with IRAS if it qualifies to file the Form C-S. Hence, the company must be registered in the country, has an annual revenue of SGD 5 million or less in the previous fiscal year, derives incomes taxable at the current corporate tax rate of seventeen per cent, and is not using or claiming carryback of current year capital losses or allowance, foreign tax credit or investment allowance, group relief, and tax deducted at source. Additionally, the company must not be an investment holding firm or a service agency providing only related party services, must keep Singapore dollar as its functional currency, and does not possess associates, subsidiaries or joint venture, and has no intangibles investment.

Singapore companies interested in adopting the seamless filing solution should contact the solutions’ software vendors, which include Netiquette Software Pte Ltd and SMECEN Pte Ltd.

Available Grants for SMEs

SMEs can also tap into the government existing grants, which include:

  • PSG or Productivity Solutions Grant provided by Enterprise Singapore
  • SMEs Go Digital provided by Infocomm Media Development Authority
  • Digital Resilience Bonus provided by Infocomm Media Development Authority

Seeking Professional Help From Competent Singapore Accounting Services

Professional accounting services in Singapore help companies reduce the overall business cost, save time, avoid fraud, and boost accounting efficiency and accuracy. Professional accounting firms in Singapore are also proficient in the country’s accounting rules and regulation, ensuring the companies stay legally compliant. 

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