Welcome to CST’s first newsletter of the year. The 8th February 2016 marked the start of the Lunar New Year and the commencement of the year of the Monkey. To mark the occasion, the Singapore office was blessed by two Lions and a monkey from the Wen Yang Lion Dance Troupe. This Chinese tradition is used to mark the start of the New Year and aims to scare off the evil spirits and bring good health, prosperity and good luck.
Monkey is the ninth in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac. The Years of the Monkey include 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, and 2016.
The Monkey, is characterized by a clever and creative mind. The Monkey is always interested in learning and new experiences. This curiosity can be seen in the Monkey’s varied and, sometimes, impulsive interests. Often detesting routine, the Monkey is not above finding trouble in mischievous actions.
Famous Monkey’s include Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig, Jennifer Aniston, Gisele Bundchen, Chelsea Clinton and Will Smith.
2016 is looking to be a great year for CST. Details of news and current events are included below, as well as updates regarding the 2016 Singapore Budget.
Boon Tan Comes Home
CST Singapore is pleased to welcome Boon Tan as its new Managing Director. Boon who is a Principal working in the CST Sydney office will move permanently to Singapore in July with his family.
Boon is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor who focuses on taxation compliance and advisory issues for high net worth family groups including asset protection, structuring for wealth accumulation and family office services.
CST International General Manager, Geraldine Chapman recently sat down with Boon to talk to him about his impending move to Expatland;
Let’s start with your name – Boon Tan. It’s so Singaporean but you’re Australian born Chinese. How is it then that you have such a Singaporean name?
Mum and Dad are from the Malay Peninsula and came to Sydney in the late 1950s for matriculation and just never went back. My mum actually went to high school in Singapore and was captain of the Singapore girls’ national basketball team. When I was born, my parents did give me a Western name but unlike my sister Lisa, never used with me – so I have always known my name to be “Boon” since as far back as I remember.
Given that you have never lived outside of Sydney, are you nervous about the move to Singapore?
Not at all! I have several aunts, uncles and cousins who live in Singapore and also a number of friends from Sydney who moved up to Singapore to work themselves. In addition, I spoke both the Mandarin and Hokkien dialect at home with my parents – whilst I am no linguistic expert, I know enough for us to get around the city and do the things we need to do.
My wife has been to Singapore a few times as well and loves the vibe of the city. And from speaking to expat friends and clients, we hear that it is a great place to raise children. So we as a family are all looking forward to the move.
So if you are not nervous, what are you most excited about moving to Singapore?
The food!!! My wife and I love our SE Asian cuisine and the hawker food in Singapore is second to none! But in all seriousness I am very much looking forward to the challenge of working in Singapore with its dynamic and fast paced lifestyle. I am also excited by the opportunities that exist not only in Singapore but the greater Asian region for someone like me and CST Tax Advisors to help locals and expats alike handle their global tax affairs.
We have a great team in the Singapore office and I look forward to continuing to work with clients, prospects and other local advisors who are seeking professional advice from international tax experts like ourselves.
Personal Returns Due Soon
As 31 December marked the end of the Singaporean tax year for individuals, it is now time to start preparing to file your tax return for the 2015 year of assessment as the due date is 15 April 2016.
Where you are wishing to make a claim under the Not Ordinarily Resident Scheme, you must be able to show that they have spent at least 90 days outside of Singapore for the 2015 year of assessment for work purposes and have total Singaporean employment income of at least $160,000.
Australian Federal Budget – May 2016
Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison will hand down their first Federal Budgets this May. With Turnbull looking to show the electorate his credentials to continue to be Prime Minister ahead of this years’ Federal election, there has been a great deal of speculation and discussion about what changes may be introduced.
Matthew Marcarian and Boon Tan will be presenting a budget update breakfast with the Australian Chamber of Commerce on 12 May 2016. The update will confirm all the changes announced in the 2016 Budget and also how it will impact expatriates who currently hold assets in Australia or planning to return in the not too distant future.
More information about the event will be available through our social media sites. Alternatively you may contact AustCham Singapore for more details.
Expatland Giving Back Fund
CST International is very pleased to announce the launch of its philanthropic arm – Expatland Giving Back Fund (EBGF).
EGBF’s goal is to provide the citizens of Expatland an opportunity to contribute back to their local community by committing their time and resources.
The CST team will hold volunteering events in Singapore and Sydney in April. For more information please visit our website www.expatlandgiving.org.
2016 Budget Announcements
The 2016 Singapore Budget was handed down on 24 March 2016. This Budget was the first after the celebration of Singapore’s 50th year of independence and focused on the new challenges for the country – it was therefore themed as a Budget focused on “Partnering for the Future”. In delivering the Budget Statement, Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat, outlined new measures that focused on both households and businesses in line with the Partnership theme.
Some of the key measures announced for Households are:
- Introduce a new Child Development Account (CDA) First Step grant of $3,000 for all eligible Singaporean children. Parents will automatically receive $3,000 in their child’s CDA. To be eligible, a child must be a Singapore citizen and the parents must be lawfully married.
- Increase the Medisave withdrawal limit for pre-delivery expenses from $450 to $900. This will take effect for births from 24 March 2016.
- Commencing in from Year of Assessment 2018, there will be a personal income tax relief cap on the total amount of such reliefs an individual can claim, at $80,000 per Year of Assessment.
Some of the key measures announced for Businesses are:
- The existing Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Rebate will be raised from 30% of tax payable to 50% of tax payable, with a cap of $20,000 rebate each year for Year of Assessment (YA) 2016 and YA 2017.
- To support viable SMEs that may have cash flow concerns or wish to continue growing their business, the Government will introduce a new SME Working Capital Loan scheme, for loans of up to $300,000 per SME. Under this scheme, the Government will co-share 50% of the default risk of these loans with participating financial institutions, to encourage lending to SMEs. These Loans will be available for three years, starting from 2016.
- Support more firms in their internationalisation efforts through assistance such as the Global Company Partnership and Market Readiness Assistance programmes.
- Extend the Double Tax Deduction for Internationalisation scheme, till 31 March 2020. This covers qualifying expenses incurred for activities such as participation in overseas business development and investment study trips.
- SG-Innovate: To promote start-ups in new and existing industries, the Government will set up a new entity called “SG-Innovate”. SG-Innovate will match budding entrepreneurs with mentors, introduce them to venture capital firms, help them to access talent in research institutes, and open up new markets.
- Jurong Innovation District: To create an open and innovative urban environment, the Government will launch the Jurong Innovation District, which will bring together learning, innovation, research, and production to create products and services of the future.