Suppose you plan to start a business in Singapore or are already doing one. In that case, you should be aware of the TIN (Tax identification number) concept in Singapore. It has everything to do with the tax returns, exemptions, rebates, filing, and other tax benefits that businesses enjoy because of the nation’s flexible and industry-centric policies. Although taxation rates vary depending on the financial standing and overall revenue, one can rest assured that Singapore is one of the few countries that levy minimum taxes on entrepreneurs.
What is the Singapore TIN number?
TIN is a nine-ten digit unique number assigned to individuals and business entities residing in Singapore. It is assigned by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singaporeto identify business entities for tax purposes, reference number used in tax dealings is UEN (Unique Entity Number) for business entities. It is used to maintain and track the tax relevant records of the organizations that determine whether or not they are paying taxes on time and complying with all the tax obligations. Some of the tenets related to TIN are:
- It serves as a verification tool for regulatory bodies to match the information reported by the business entities to match with the data received by their third party resources, such as banks, credit score companies, etc.
- To be eligible for TIN, business bodies first should acquire a UEN (Unique Entity Number) issued by the Accounting and Corporate regulatory authority (ACRA) that is used for various business transactions involving government entities.
- The organizations not able to keep up to the guidelines of taxation or lack complete information regarding their TIN may face penalties and interest charges.
After acquiring the UEN, business entities can apply for TIN by completing the process of registration and providing the necessary documents. Governmental bodies like IRAS and ACRA have simplified the process of tax payment for business entities which includes both eFiling and paper filing.
To check for the company’s profile or other relevant information about the UEN can be accessed from the government-managed website known as the BizFile. All the business entities registered with ACRA have their UEN listed in this domain and are available to the public.
What is the need for TIN?
As mentioned above, TIN serves as the digital fingerprint for the business organizations for filing tax returns, and along with that, as the business expands its services, TIN comes in handy for:
- The import & export of goods and services, as the availability of TIN makes it convenient for the governmental bodies to assess the source of funds and tax them accordingly.
- Updating and accessing the information on the BizFile related to the organization’s business profile.
- Remittance of Central Provident Funds (CPF) for the business owner and all the employees need to furnish their respective TIN to obtain the funds.
The terms TIN and UEN are used interchangeably, but there is a slight difference in their period of origination. Businesses operating before 2009 were only assigned with TIN for all their tax related activities and there was no concept of UEN, but after the nation underwent the transition in their business policies. After that an added element of UEN was introduced, anyhow those businesses that existed prior to this change had the benefit of retaining their TIN as their UEN to simplify the migration process to the updated system.