Links International’s HR Outsourcing team sends out a quarterly update called ONBOARD, to keep clients aware of significant payroll and visa developments across the Asia-Pacific region.
Budget changes to salary tax and government fees
Basic and married person’s allowances have increased to HKD132,000 and HKD264,00 respectively. Dependent parent/grandparent allowances have increased to HKD23,000 and HKD46,000 (amount depends on whether the parent/grandparent aged 55 to 59 resides with the taxpayer).
Business registration fees have been waived for 2016/2017.
As a one-off measure, 75% of profits tax for 2015/2016 will be waived and 75% of salaries tax under personal assessment for 2015/2016 will be waived. Both cases will be subject to a HKD20,000 ceiling and will be deducted from the taxpayer’s final tax payable for the year.
2015/2016 Financial Year Employer’s Return
We will send BIR56A and IR56B (Employer’s Return) to employers on the first working day in April each year. If you do not receive BIR56A and IR56B forms by mid-April, or if the original forms have been lost, damaged, or you need more IR56B forms (or other forms: IR56E, IR56F, IR56G and IR6036B), you can contact the IRD for replacements.
Changes to leave entitlements
All employees are now entitled to 10 days’ wedding leave, regardless of age or gender. All female employees are entitled to 128 days’ maternity leave, whilst all full-time male employees are entitled to 10 days of paid paternity leave. The entitlement for funeral leave remains the same, at 3 days in mainland China, or 5 days outside of China.
New initiatives to raise standards in FDW-placing employment agencies
The Ministry of Manpower has announced initiatives to improve the professionalism of employment agencies that place Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs). These initiatives include a mandatory “Trustmark” grading system, which will be in place by H2 2017.
Increase in CPF interest rates
Central Provident Fund (CPF) members’ interest rates include an extra 1% extra interest paid on the first SGD60,000 of a member’s combined balances (wit up to SGD20,000 from the OA). CPF members aged 55 and above will also earn an additional 1% extra interest on the first SGD30,000 of their combined balances from January 2016. Thus CPF members aged 55 and above will earn up to 6% interest per year on their retirement balances.
Enhancements for Individual Income Tax Season 2016
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has introduced several enhancements for Individual Income Tax Season 2016, which includes enhanced smartphone filing, for tax filing on the go; Personal Reliefs Eligibility Tool, to determine if taxpayers meet the requirements for reliefs they wish to claim; pre-filled rental expenses; and e-Submission of Commission Income Scheme.
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