In Singapore, Tax Identification Numbers Are Essential

If you are planning to start a business in Singapore or migrate to the country, you must be aware of the federal laws and regulations imposed by the government. It is the business hub of Asia because of its geographical location and economic framework. This is why start-up owners and entrepreneurs are tempted to establish their firms and businesses in the country, mainly because of its flexible foreign policy regarding funds transfer. Let us penetrate deeper into the nitty and gritty of tax identification number (TIN) from an individual and business standpoint.

What is the importance of TIN?

TIN serves as a unique identifier for individuals and organizations for government agencies. It forms their identity as a taxpayer and serves as a fingerprint. The number is unique for all the permanent citizens and businesses thriving in Singapore, and it is a combination of 9-10 digits of numbers and letters. The issuing authority of TIN is the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) for individuals and business entities. The exact number is the Unique Entity Number (UEN) issued by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (ACRA).

What is the process of obtaining TIN for individuals?

There is a designated website managed by the government of Singapore where the native citizens can register themselves for the TIN allotment. People who have migrated from other countries will first have to apply for an IRAS account. So subsequently, a unique tax reference number is sent to them, and this number serves as the identifier for future transactions. For foreigners, this number is composed of three essential features:

  1. Foreign identification number
  2. Singpass (unique digital identity to avail of the online services of the government)
  3. Unique bank account number

What procedure should the organizations follow to obtain their TIN known as UEN (Unique Entity Number)?

The businesses that had existed since before 2009 retained their tax reference number as the UEN. So that the migration process is easily updated for recently established companies, the UEN is issued by various regulatory bodies like ACRA, the Registry of Societies of Singapore, or the Ministry of Manpower. To understand how UEN plays a vital role in shaping the performance and growth of business organizations, consider the following:

  • The finance and accounts department can file the tax returns using UEN.
  • UEN is necessarily required if the business plans to export and import goods and services because the government uses it to track the type of foreign transaction and later uses the details to assess taxes.
  • Bizfile is a government-based website listing all types of businesses in Singapore. UEN is mandatory to update information in the Bizfile about your business.
  • If you need to acquire a corporate account in any of the Singapore banks, having an assigned UEN is a must.
  • If you plan to collaborate with other business entities in the country for some joint ventures, then you need to have UEN to show in the business contract and agreement documents.

The implementation of TIN has simplified the process of paying taxes for individuals and businesses. The method of filing for taxes includes online as well as paper filing modes.