24 March 2015
On 19 March 2015, the Ministry of Finance announced that over 85,000 employers will receive the second tranche of Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) payouts totaling S$1.4 bil, by 31 March 2015. Around three-quarters of the sum will go to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) will send out letters to qualifying employers to inform them of their total payout by 31 March 2015. From 20 March 2015, employers may also check their eligibility on the IRAS website. The WCS payout will be made via direct credit to their GIRO bank account used for income tax and goods and services tax (GST) purposes, or by cheque.
Any appeal regarding the second tranche of payouts must be submitted to IRAS by 30 June 2015 and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The WCS was introduced in 2013 as part of the 3-Year Transition Support Package to help businesses cope with rising wage costs. From 2013 to 2015, the Government will co-fund 40% of wage increases given to Singaporean employees earning a gross monthly wage of S$4,000 and below. The WCS payouts will allow businesses to free up resources to make investments in productivity and share the productivity gains with their employees.
All employers are automatically covered under the WCS except for government related entities and entities not registered in Singapore. As the wage credit is a co-funding of wage increase, it is a taxable revenue grant in the hands of the employer. In this regard, the credit may be used to offset outstanding tax arrears of the employer before the remaining amount, if any, is paid out.
Source: Ministry of Finance, IRAS