DBS, IRAS digitalise tax payouts for businesses

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Image courtesy DBS

DBS Bank is collaborating with the Singapore’s tax authority, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), to digitalise tax payouts and collections as part of the nation’s target to be cheque-free by 2025.

Beginning this year, businesses have been able to use PayNow, DBS’ electronic fund transfer service, to receive the government’s Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) payouts, which have so far resulted in a 20 per cent reduction in cheque volumes. Before this, about half of WCS-eligible businesses, many of which are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), chose to receive their payouts via cheques.

For the next phase, both parties are working together to leverage DBS’ APIs (application programming interface) to digitalise IRAS’ stamp duty services. Currently, most taxpayers tend to pay for conveyancing stamp duty via cheques and have to wait several days for the cheque to be cleared before a stamp duty certificate is issued. However, with DBS’ Direct Debit Authorisation (DDA) API, taxpayers can set up a GIRO account online, and make payment for their stamp duty and receive a stamp certificate through IRAS’ e-Stamping Portal instantly. In addition, with a transfer limit of SGD200,000 per transaction, the DBS DDA solution also enables IRAS to digitalise payments for the majority of conveyancing stamp duty transactions. This new DDA e-payment option for conveyancing stamp duty will be launched in November.

Ang Sor Tjing, Director of IRAS’ Revenue and Payment Management Branch said, “Implementing PayNow for the disbursement of the scheme’s payouts helps encourage businesses, many of which comprise SMEs, to go chequeless 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.”

Raof Latiff, Group Head of Digital, Institutional Banking Group, DBS Bank said, “Acceptance of digital transactions among individuals in Singapore has been well established. To bring Singapore’s digital agenda to fruition, it is critical to encourage SMEs to get on board the digital payments train as they represent 99 per cent of businesses locally. Partnering with statutory boards like IRAS is one of the key ways to encourage this shift, with them leading the way by digitalising payments and collections channels across their suite of services.”

“Singapore has continued to show steady progress in the adoption of digital payments on the back of the government’s continuous push to become a Smart Nation. However, in order to fulfil Singapore’s ambition to go chequeless by 2025, we need to continue to innovate and explore new ways to help ease businesses, especially SMEs, into the digital future, while providing them the support they need to face the challenges ahead,” said Latiff.