More Teeth To Counter The Impact of COVID-19

The government has announced a second assistance package in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Preliminary figures showed that the Singapore economy shrunk by 2.2% year-on year in the first quarter of 2020, “the worst contraction since independence”, as described by the Finance Minister, Mr Heng Swee Keat. He unveiled an unmatched S$48 billion package of measures to provide additional support for businesses and individuals – with a special focus on those hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as to fortify economic and social resilience.

Companies will get an automatic deferment of corporate income tax payments due in April, May and June to free up cash flow for businesses to meet other urgent needs. The income tax payments for April, May and June 2020 will only be made in July, August and September 2020 respectively.

The property tax rebate announced during Budget 2020 will be enhanced by raising the amount and covering more types of properties. There will be 100% rebate for the year 2020 for qualifying commercial properties for sectors which had been more badly affected, up from the 15 - 30% announced earlier. These include hotels, serviced apartments, MICE premises, Changi Airport, cruise centres, cinemas, restaurants, shops, tourist attractions, childcare centres or kindergartens and purpose-built workers’ dormitories.

The property tax rebate for premises in Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa will be raised from 10% previously to 60%. A 30% rebate for property taxes will be given to all other non-residential properties such as offices, business or science parks, industrial properties and petrol stations. 

Government agencies, such as the National Arts Council will provide eligible commercial tenants with two months of rental waiver, up from the 0.5 month waiver announced in Budget 2020. All other non-residential tenants in the premises of JTC, SLA, HDB, URA, BCA, NParks and PA will get half a month of rental waiver.

All increases in government fees and charges will also be deferred by 1 year, from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.