Businesses in Singapore have used 20 percent lesser paper cheques while paying taxes, according to media reports. Singapore is pushing for the digitalisation of tax and become cheque free by 2025.
Singapore’s DBS Bank has joined hands with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) to encourage businesses to use tax payment digitalisation and collections through PayNow to make Singapore cheque free.
The PayNow platform, which was launched by IRAS in March 2019, enables businesses to receive Wage Credit Schemes (WCS) and this resulted in the significant drop in cheque uses. Prior to the launch of the PayNow, about 50 percent of the businesses preferred to receive payments by cheques.
Ang Sor Tjing, director of the IRAS revenue and payment management branch told the media, “Implementing PayNow for the disbursement of the scheme’s payouts helps encourage businesses, many of which comprise of small and medium businesses, to go cheque-less and transition towards digital payments. As part of IRAS’ digitalisation drive, we are also working with DBS to expand the use of PayNow to more services for the convenience of businesses and individuals.”
Besides collaborating for the digitalisation of tax in Singapore, DBS Bank has worked with IRAS to digitalise stamp duty. According to the agreement, DBS will use its DBS’ application programming interfaces (APIs) to digitalise IRAS stamp duty services.
According to media reports, the IRAS collected S$4.6 billion from stamp duties in the fiscal year 2019. A major portion of this was paid by businesses with cheques.
However, since November 2019, businesses in Singapore have the option to set a Giro account online to make payments for their stamp duty. Now, businesses are able to receive a stamp certificate through Iras’ estamping portal instantly.