Productivity and Innovation Credit Scheme: Cash Payout Rate at 40% from 1 Aug 2016

As announced earlier by the Finance Minister in his maiden Budget 2016 speech that with effect from 1 Aug 2016, the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) cash payout rate is to be reduced to 40% of qualifying expenditure subject to a total expenditure cap of $100,000 across the six qualifying activities. Before this change, the rate was 60%. In addition, the three local employees condition need to be met in order to be eligible to apply for the cash payout.

The other option of 400% tax deduction on up to $400,000 of spending per year in each of the six activities remains unchanged. Businesses can still continue to enjoy this if the benefits of lower tax payable is more than what they may get from the cash payout.

Another important thing to remember is that the PIC Scheme will expire after Year of Assessment (YA) 2018 (for financial year ending in year 2017).


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ACRA Cancels Registration of Filing Agent and Qualified Individual for AML/CFT Breaches

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) had cancelled the registrations of filing agent (RFA) and qualified individual (RQI) on 18 January 2024. The registrations were cancelled in view of breaches of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) controls under the ACRA (Filing Agents and Qualified Individuals) Regulations 2015 (the “ACRA Regulations”).

Some of the basic AMT/CFT controls that a RFA and RQI are required to exercise are as follows:

(a) perform additional customer due diligence measures when a customer is not physically present during onboarding;

(b) inquiring if there exists any beneficial owner in relation to some of its customers; and

(c) perform risk assessments i

RQIs and RFAs provide corporate secretarial services for business entities, such as helping customers to incorporate companies, file annual returns and fulfil other filing requirements under the Companies Act 1967 or other Acts under ACRA’s purview. RQIs and RFAs are required to perform customer due diligence measures in accordance with the ACRA Regulations, and conduct their business in such a manner as to guard against the facilitation of money laundering and the financing of terrorism. RQIs and RFAs must also satisfy statutory requirements such as being fit and proper persons, to be registered or continue to be registered.

RQIs and RFAs who breach their statutory obligations may be subject to enforcement actions, such as financial penalties of up to $10,000 or $25,000 per breach respectively or have their registrations with ACRA suspended or cancelled.

Therefore, RQIs and RFAs play an important role in helping to detect and combat illicit activities.

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