Annual Filing Requirements for Singapore Branch Offices
The following annual statutory compliance requirements apply to Singapore branches of foreign companies.
ECI FilingBranches are required to declare the revenue amount and estimated chargeable income by filing ECI form with Tax Authority within 3 months of the end of accounting period for the branch.
The revenue to be declared in the ECI form refers to a branch’s main source of income, and excludes items like capital gains on disposal of fixed assets. Even if the branch estimates its chargeable income as zero, it still has to file a “Nil” ECI.
Preparation of Financial Accounts
Accounting standards in Singapore are now prescribed in the Companies Act and are known as Financial Reporting Standards (FRS). Financial accounts of the branch must be prepared in accordance with the Singapore FRS and must consist of an audited statement of its assets and liabilities and its profit and loss accounts of its operations in Singapore.
Financial Reporting Standards of Singapore are closely aligned with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) framework.
Audit of Financial Accounts
As a branch you must:
- Appoint an auditor
- Have your accounts audited on an annual basis
Annual Filing of Accounts
A Singapore branch is required to file the following with the Registrar within 2 months of the Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) of the parent company being held:
- A copy of the financial accounts of the parent company for the financial year concerned
- Documents accompanying the financial accounts filed overseas in the parent company’s jurisdiction
- A copy of the audited financial accounts of the Singapore branch office
If the parent company is not required by the law of the place of its incorporation or origin to hold an AGM and prepare financial accounts, it must still prepare and file audited financial accounts within 7 months of its last financial year end.
Income Tax Return Filing
The Singapore income tax system is annual in its structure and organization. The statutory tax year in which income tax is calculated and charged is commonly known as the Year of Assessment. Singapore adopts the preceding year basis for taxation. In other words, the profits of the accounting year ending in the preceding year will form the basis for assessment for the current Year of Assessment.
The statutory deadline for filing corporate income tax return is 30 November of Year of Assessment. As an example, if the accounting period of your branch is April 1, 2008 – March 31, 2009, the income tax return filing deadline for the company will be 30 November, 2010.
Note that the Branch Office agents are responsible and accountable for complying with the annual filing requirements. Failure to comply with the statutory compliance requirements is an offence and may result in fines or prosecution.