Tax Alert – Continuing Support Measures During COVID-19 Crisis

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on 21 April 2020 that the “circuit breaker” period will be extended by four more weeks until 1 June 2020 in view of the increasing trend of infected coronavirus cases. This drastic and rather painful decision is aimed decisively at bringing down the number of coronavirus cases in the community. With this, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the following additional “circuit breaker” measures on top of what he announced previously in the Solidarity Budget to further support businesses in these challenging times.

Job Support Scheme (JSS)

  • The JSS wage subsidy of 75% on the first $4,600 of gross monthly salaries paid to each local employee (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents) across all sectors for the month of April 2020 will be extended for another month; i.e. in the month of May 2020 as well.
  • Employees who are shareholders and directors of a company previously excluded from the JSS will now be included if the company concerned was registered on or before 20 April 2020 and the shareholder-director concerned has assessable income of $100,000 or less for Year of Assessment 2019.
  • Disbursement for the enhanced subsidy for May 2020 and back-payment of the subsidy for  qualifying shareholder-directors excluded from the first JSS payout will be made by end-May 2020 for employers on PayNow or having existing GIRO arrangements with IRAS. Others will receive in early-June.
  • Similar to the arrangement for April, the May subsidy will first be computed and disbursed based on November 2019 wages to ensure speedy receipt of the benefit by employers. Subsequent JSS payouts are then adjusted to reflect actual wage payments made in April and May respectively.
  • Employers who put local employees on mandatory no-pay-leave or retrench them will not be entitled to the enhanced JSS payout for those employees.
  • The JSS payout will be tax-exempt in the hands of the employers.

Foreign Worker Levy (FWL)

  • FWL waived for another month, i.e. FWL due in May 2020 waived as well.
  • FWL rebate of $750 for previous levies paid in 2020 for each Work Permit or S Pass holder extended for another month.

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For further information or assistance, please contact:

Koh Puay Hoon, Partner
T +65 6594 7820
[email protected]

Cindy Lim, Partner
T +65 6594 7852
[email protected]

William Chua, Partner
T +65 6594 7860
[email protected]