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Singapore: Tax and employment relief specifically for consumer and retail businesses (COVID-19)

Singapore: Tax and employment relief

Singapore’s government has provided tax and employment-related relief for the consumer and retail businesses—a sector that has been significantly affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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Two supplementary budgets—referred to as the “Resilience Budget” and the “Solidarity Budget”—provide stimulus packages to cushion the impact of COVID-19, and in particular introduced support for wages, one of the largest and most critical business costs for consumer and retail industries.

The Resilience Budget provides a “Jobs Support Scheme” (JSS) whereby all employers will receive a 25% cash grant on the first S$4,600 of gross monthly salaries paid to local workers (up from 8% on the first S$3,600) for an extended period of nine months (up from three months). For severely affected consumer and retail sub-sectors such as (1) qualifying licensed hotels, licensed travel agents, gated tourist attractions, cruise lines and cruise terminal operators, and (2) licensed food shops and food stalls (including hawker stalls), payouts under the JSS are at rates of 75% and 50%, respectively (with both including the 25% base support).

Also, qualifying commercial properties (hotels, serviced apartments, tourist attractions, shops, and restaurants) are entitled to a 100% property tax rebate. “Integrated resorts” and all other non-residential properties (industrial properties, offices, etc.) are to receive property tax rebates of 60% and 30%, respectively, in 2020.

Read an April 2020 report [PDF 408 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Singapore

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