The key role of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) is to estimate the income of individuals, companies and those involved in businesses such as self-employment, sole proprietorships or partnerships, and collect various kinds of taxes from them. IRAS first assesses your income (or other) tax liability and provides all eligible with Income Tax Notice of Assessment for various kinds of taxes. This Notice of Assessment (NOA) is also known as the Tax Bill.
How IRAS assesses your income tax
The income tax assessment process for individuals and businesses is primarily based on the income declarations made by you or your employer.
Employers who come under the Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS) need to submit their employees’ income details to IRAS through electronic means. This also should be done by 1 March. AIS is applicable to employers who have 9 or more employees, or those who have got a notice to file employee salary details under AIS. Any employer who is not eligible for the AIS needs to give their employees’ the Forms IR8A and IR8S, and Appendixes 8A and 8B as applicable. This needs to be done by 1 March each year. These documents don’t have to be submitted to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.
As a salaried individual, when you file your tax returns, you don’t need to include the salary income if it is already being submitted by your employer through AIS. You only need to declare any extra income, such as rent from housing. If your employer is not part of AIS, then you need to submit the forms and appendix as mentioned above, but that too only if you have been asked to by the IRAS.
Notice of Assessment
The NOA or Tax Bill is sent to individuals between the end of April and September every year. The tax bill tells you what part of your income has been subject to tax, what is the rate at which the tax is charged, what deductions have been claimed by you, how much tax you have to pay to IRAS for the given Year of Assessment (YA), and if you are eligible for any refunds from the department.
Those who are required to file their taxes have to do so before the due date announced by IRAS. The due date for YA 2017 was 15 April 2017 for paper filing and 18 April 2017 for e-filing. Only individuals who have received a notification through email or SMS about being selected for the No-Filing Service (NFS) are exempt from filing their income tax. You need to ensure that your mobile number and email address are registered with the IRAS to get regular notifications.
Types of NOA (Notice Of Assessment)
There are five types of tax bills:
- Notice of Original Assessment: This NOA shows your tax liability calculated on the basis of the tax form submitted by you, plus the details received from employers under the Auto Inclusion Scheme.
- Notice of Amended Assessment: This NOA is sent to you if the IRAS makes any changes to the original tax bill. This document also includes the previous assessment made, for your reference.
- Notice of Additional Assessment: This NOA indicates any extra tax amount that you would have to pay based on the revised tax estimation.
- Notice of Repayment: This NOA will be sent if you have any refund due to you after a fresh estimation. This indicates that you are not liable to pay any extra tax for the given period.
- Estimated Notice of Assessment: If you fail to file your tax return on time, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore will calculate your tax liabilities based on the previous year’s assessment or returns, and send you an estimated tax bill. If you file your tax return after this NOA is received, the IRAS will send you a revised NOA based on the fresh information received.
Tax bill glossary
Here are some of the common tax terms that you will see on a standard Notice of Assessment:
- Assessable Income – This denotes the individual’s total income. This will include your salary and other employment income, rental income, business income and any other means through which you are earning money. Permitted expenses and endorses donations are subtracted from your income to arrive at the assessable income.
- Chargeable Income – This is the income on which income tax is levied, after personal reliefs and exemptions are subtracted from your assessable income.
- Personal Reliefs – These are deductions from your income that are recognised by the IRAS as non-taxable or exempt from tax.
- Tax Payable – This is the amount you are required to pay as tax to the government.
- Tax Discharged or Tax Repayable – This indicates the amount of tax you will get back from IRAS as refund.
- Year of Assessment – Commonly abbreviated as YA and also known as the tax year, this is a 12-month period for which the income tax is levied. Usually, the assessment for a given tax year is for your earnings in the previous year between the 1st of January and the 31st of December. So YA 2017 denotes that tax year for your income in the whole of 2016.
How to get a copy of your tax bill/NOA
IRAS sends tax bills in batches between April and September as mentioned earlier. The NOA comes to you in snail mail. You can also check your Notice of Assessment online on your myTax portal. IRAS will inform you by SMS when the tax bill is generated.
The tax bill can be viewed, and a copy taken any time through the myTax portal. Notices of Assessment for the past 3 years would be available on the portal. In case you want a copy of an NOA prior to 3 years, which is not available on myTax, then you can request IRAS for it. You can either visit the IRAS office personally, or send a representative to get it. The representative should carry an authorisation letter, their NRIC as well as your original NRIC.
The fees charged for giving you your old NOAs are:
|Non-microfilmed documents||S$13 per search|
|Microfilmed documents (older ones)||S$50 per document|
|Each page of each certified copy||S$3|
|Each page of each uncertified copy||S$0.30|
Once you receive your NOA, you need to check that the bill is accurate. Any discrepancy or missing information or incorrect details in your tax bill needs to be corrected. You must inform the IRAS about any corrections or additions within 30 days of the date of the NOA. You can also oppose the assessment made on your tax bill. You can reject your tax bill/assessment by filing an objection to the NOA within 30 days of the date of the assessment bill.