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Your All-in-One Singapore COVID-19 Finance Aid Package – Explained

If you are confused about all the aid and support given by the Singapore Government and the various agencies, you are not alone. Hence, the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants has creatively developed this amazing All-in-One Singapore COVID-19 Aid Package, which is a COVID-19 financial package catered to accountants but also applicable to most in Singapore. These details are the various kinds of aid packages that you can receive, whether you are an employee, a business owner or a decision maker in your organisation. This PDF can be downloaded below, and the Tropika Team has gone a step further to help list down the key areas for your easy reference.


ISCA

Your All-in-One Singapore COVID-19 Finance Aid Package

If You Are a Business Owner and/or Decision Maker in Your Organisation

If your organisation is facing cash flow problems

Self-Employment Person (SEP) Income Relief Scheme - Direct Cash Support

Self-Employment Person (SEP) Income Relief Scheme – Direct Cash Support

Self-Employment Person (SEP) Income Relief Scheme - Direct Cash Support
  • Eligibility Criteria
    • All Singaporean SEPs who meet the following criteria:
      • Started work as a SEP on or before 25 March 2020
      • Do not earn / earn small income as an employee
      • Earn net trade income of no more than $100,000
      • Live in property with annual value of no more than $21,000
      • Do not own 2 or more properties
    • For married SEPs:
      • Individual and spouse together do not own 2 or more properties
      • Assessable income of his/her spouse does not exceed $70,000
    • Assistance
      • Receive $9,000 over 9 months
    • Application not required for SEPs aged 37 and over in 2020 who declared positive SEP income to IRAS or CPF Board for 2018
NTUC Training Fund (SEPs)

NTUC Training Fund (SEPs)

  • Under the NTUC Training Fund (SEPs), SEPs will get paid an allowance of up to $8.50/hour when they attend courses under the SkillsFuture Series, as well as selected sector-specific training programmes.
Jobs Support Scheme - Wage Support

Jobs Support Scheme – Wage Support

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • All employers who have made CPF contributions for their SC and PR employees will qualify (some employer exclusion)
  • Assistance
    • Government co-fund first $4,600 of gross monthly wages paid to each local employee for 9 months (different tiers of support for different sectors)
    • For the month of April 2020, support will be topped up to 75% for all sectors
    • Application not required (IRAS will notify eligible employers)
Wage Credit Scheme - Wage Increases Support

Wage Credit Scheme – Wage Increases Support

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • All employers who give wage increases to SC employees will qualify (subject to certain conditions) (some employer exclusion)
  • Assistance
    • Government co-funding ratios for wage increases in 2019 and 2020 raised from current 15% and 10%, to 20% and 15% respectively.
    • Qualifying gross wage ceiling raised to $5,000 for both years, up from the current $4,000
  • Application not required (IRAS will notify eligible employers)
COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill

COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • Covers obligations to be performed on or after 1 February 2020 which are affected by reason of COVID-19 for contracts entered into before 25 March 2020
    • Covers specific contracts such as commercial & industrial property leases,construction & supply contracts, event & tourism related contracts and certain secured loan facilities
  • Assistance
    • Provide cash-flow relief to businesses and individuals in specific types of contracts who are unable to fulfil contractual obligations because of COVID-19, by suspending certain actions to enforce those obligations for 6 months
  • Bill expected to be in effect mid-April.
  • Notification for relief to be issued to the other party of the contract.
Corporate Tax Income Tax (CIT) Rebate

Corporate Tax Income Tax (CIT) Rebate

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • All companies
  • Assistance
    • CIT rebate of 25% of tax payable, capped at $15,000 for YA2020
    • Automatic extension of interest-free instalments of 2 months for payment of CIT on ECI filed within 3 months from financial year end
    • Allow unabsorbed capital allowances and trade losses for YA2020 to be carried back up to 3 immediate preceding YAs, instead of 1 preceding YA
    • Provide option to accelerate write-off of cost of acquiring plant and machinery
    • Provide option to accelerate the deduction of expenses incurred on renovation and refurbishment
Deferment of Income Tax Payments

Deferment of Income Tax Payments

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • All companies and SEPs
  • Assistance
    • Automatically defer income tax payments for 3 months
      • For companies – payments due in April, May and June collected from July 2020
      • For SEPs – payments due in May, June, July collected from August 2020
Property Tax Rebates

Property Tax Rebates

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • Qualifying non-residential properties
  • Assistance
    • 100% rebate for qualifying commercial properties
    • 60% rebate for the Integrated Resorts
    • 30% rebate for other non-residential properties
Rental Waivers

Rental Waivers

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • Eligible commercial and social sector tenants in government properties
    • Tenancies do not exceed 3 years
    • Do not pay property tax
  • Assistance
    • Up to 2 months rental waiver for commercial and other non-residential tenants in government properties
    • Commercial tenants with cash flow concerns may apply to SLA for assistance including flexible rental payments such as instalment plans.
Enterprise Financing Scheme (Trade Loan) - enhanced help for trade financing needs

Enterprise Financing Scheme (Trade Loan) – enhanced help for trade financing needs

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • Registered and operating in Singapore
    • Minimum of 30% local shareholding
    • Maximum Borrower Group revenue cap of $500 million for all enterprises
  • Assistance
    • Maximum loan quantum increase from $5 million to $10 million
    • Risk-share from Government increase from 50-70% to 90% for new applications initiated from 8 April 2020 until 31 March 2021
Enterprise Financing Scheme (SME Working Capital Loan) - Enhanced help for SMEs' working capital needs

Enterprise Financing Scheme (SME Working Capital Loan) – Enhanced help for SMEs’ working capital needs

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • Business entity registered and physically present in Singapore
    • Minimum of 30% local shareholding
    • Maximum Borrower Group revenue cap of $500 million for all enterprises
    • Group revenue of up to $100 million or maximum employment of 200 employees
  • Assistance
    • Maximum loan quantum increase from $0.3 million to $1 million
    • Risk-share from Government increase from 50-70% to 90% for new applications initiated from 8 April 2020 until 31 March 2021
    • May request for deferment of principal repayment for 1 year, subject to assessment by participating financial institutions
MAS and Financial Industry Support Scheme - Support SMEs with access to  bank credit and insurance cover

MAS and Financial Industry Support Scheme – Support SMEs with access to bank credit and insurance cover

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • SMEs that continue to pay interest and are in good standing with their banks and finance companies (for deferment of loan payments)
  • Assistance
    • May opt to defer principal payments on secured term loan
    • Assistance with insurance premium payment
Temporary Bridging Loan Program - Provide access to working capital for business needs

Temporary Bridging Loan Program – Provide access to working capital for business needs

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • Business entity registered and physically present in Singapore
    • Minimum of 30% local shareholding
    • Cover all sectors
  • Assistance
    • Maximum support loan of $5 million, with interest rate capped at 5% p.a
    • Government provides 90% risk-share on loans initiated from 8 April 2020 until 31 March 2021
    • May request for deferment of principal repayment for 1 year, subject to assessment by participating financial institutions
Loan Insurance Scheme - Secure short-term trade finance loans

Loan Insurance Scheme – Secure short-term trade finance loans

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • Business entity registered and physically present in Singapore
    • Minimum of 30% local shareholding
    • Group revenue of up to $100 million or maximum employment of 200 employees
  • Assistance
    • Subsidy for loan insurance premium increase to 80%
Work-Life Grant - This provides grants to implement flexible work arrangement.

Work-Life Grant – This provides grants to implement flexible work arrangement.

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • employers who implement flexible work arrangement for local employees (regular employees on permanent or a minimum contract term of 12 months).
  • Assistance:
    • Receive lump-sum grant to implement flexible work arrangements or job sharing for local employees.
    • Sector specific resources developed to facilitate implementation of flexiwork arrangements.
Temporary Schemes to Manage Manpower

Temporary Schemes to Manage Manpower

  • Companies with excess manpower can transfer their work permit holders to other companies quickly and companies facing shortage can tap on bigger pool of experienced work permit holders.
  • Assistance: allow inter-sectoral transfer of foreign workers for all sectors. Allow transfer of foreign workers whose work permits are nearing expiry for all sectors.
Training Employees to Upgrade Skills and Employablility -

Training Employees to Upgrade Skills and Employablility

  • Companies can tap on training support schemes under the SkillsFuture movement, redeployment programmes under the
  • Adapt and Grow initiative and other government grants. Eligibility Criteria: All companies registered or incorporated; in Singapore; Trainee on the approved course is a SC or PR; Trainee must be employed by the applicant company.
  • Assistance:
    • Enhanced Training Support for SMEs:
      • SMEs receive up to 90% of the course fees when they sponsor their employees to attend courses supported by SSG
    • Enhanced Absentee Payroll (AP) Funding:
      • SMEs may claim AP funding of 80% of basic hourly salary at a higher cap of $7.50 per hour
    • Non-SMEs
      • Non-SMEs receive up to 70% (or up to 90% for mid-career workers) of the course fees when they sponsor their employees to attend courses supported by SSG
      • Absentee Payroll Funding: Non-SMEs may claim AP funding of 80% of basic hourly salary at a cap of $4.50 per hour

Alternatives to Retrenchment – Consider alternatives to keep business viable and support employees

  • Redeploy employees to alternative areas of work within the company
  • Implement flexible work schedule, flexible work arrangements, shorter work-week, or temporary layoff
  • Adjust wages in line with tripartite norms
  • Implement no-pay leave
Your All-in-One Singapore COVID-19 Finance Aid Package

If Your Organisation is Thinking of Digital Transformation for Now and Future

Visit SME Centre

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • All SMEs
  • Assistance
    • Free one-to-one business diagnosis and advisory services in areas like productivity, finance, human resources and overseas expansion
    • Includes advisory on digitalisation with the SMEs Go Digital programme – identifying suitable digital solutions and training based on sector-specific Industry Digital Plans (IDPs)
    • Capability workshops
    • Group-based upgrading projects for businesses in the same trade and vicinity

Visit SME Digital Tech Hub

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • All SMEs
  • Assistance
    • Provides specialised digital technology advisory to SMEs with more advanced digital needs, such as data analytics and cybersecurity
    • SMEs can visit any of the SME Centres to get started. Advisors at the SME Centres will provide basic advice on IMDA approved solutions and refer them to the SME Digital Tech Hub for assistance on more advanced needs

Visit ISCA SMP Centre

  • The Small and Medium-sized Practices (SMP) Centre is a dedicated, one-stop virtual platform of information, tools and services to help SMPs build productive and competitive businesses.
  • For advisory on digitalisation of your firm or other SMP related enquiries, please complete the consultation form

Stay Healthy, Go Digital: Digital Solutions Directory

  • Jointly curated by IMDA and SGTech, the Directory lists solutions that SMEs need for business continuity amid COVID-19, across several key categories:
    • • Remote Working
    • • Visitor Management
    • • Bill and Pay Online
    • • Sell Online
    • • Others
  • Some of these solutions are free, some are supported by PSG, some come with limited time offers by the solution providers.
  • The “Stay Healthy, Go Digital” landing page also has other relevant resources for SMEs: training resources, explanation of other government assistance, e.g. E-invoicing Registration Grant

Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • Registered and operating in Singapore
    • Purchase/lease/subscription of the IT solutions or equipment must be used in Singapore
    • (Selected solutions only) An SME with minimum 30% local shareholding; AND Company’s Group annual sales turnover less than $100 million, OR less than 200 employees
  • Assistance
    • Maximum of 80% grant for pre-approved solutions under the SMEs Go Digital programme (80% support is valid till 31 Dec 2020, 70% thereafter)
    • Refer to sector-specific IDPs for a step-by-step guide on the sector-specific digital solutions and training that meet your needs

Enterprise Development Grant

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • Registered and operating in Singapore
    • Minimum of 30% local shareholding
    • Be in a financially viable position to start and complete the project
  • Assistance
    • Maximum of 80% grant on qualifying project costs namely third party consultancy fees, software and equipment, and internal manpower cost
    • For enterprises that are most severely impacted by COVID-19, the maximum support level may be raised to 90% on a case-by-case basis

Read Also: COVID-19 Circuit Breaker: What’s Allowed and Not Allowed?

Your All-in-One Singapore COVID-19 Finance Aid Package

If You Are an Employee

Career Support

ISCA’s Career Support Page

  • ISCA is dedicated to supporting your career and empowering you to achieve your aspirations. The support page will be up by end April 2020.

ISCA’s Career Portal

  • Whether you are looking for a fresh start of new employment opportunities, the career portal is the place to go. This portal, which is a joint partnership between ISCA and WSG, is a job site targeting the Accountancy community featuring job opportunities that are specific to the needs of finance and accounting professionals, though you will be able to find other job opportunities in your industry as well. This goes live from Mid April 2020.

Training Grants

SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) Training Grant

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • Singapore Citizens (SC) and Permanent
    • Residents (PR) aged 21 years old and above
  • Assistance
    • Receive subsidies of up to 80% of course fees for SSG-supported courses

Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy (MCES)

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • SC aged 40 years old and above
  • Assistance
    • Receive higher subsidies of up to 90% of course fees for SSG-supported courses

Union Training Assistance Program (UTAP)

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • NTUC union members who have attended trainings supported under UTAP
  • Assistance
    • 50% of unfunded course fee capped at $250 per year upon course completion

ULEAP (Learning Enabled through Active Participation)

  • A free mobile learning app for all working professionals to access bite-size learnings on the go.
  • Eligibility Criteria
    • For all adult learners
  • Assistance
    • Access bite-size learning relevant contents across various industries including accounting and finance
    • Interact and learn from various content contributors
    • Network and connect with industry practitioners
  • Download the free app: ULeap Applied Skills

Career Switch

Professional Conversion Programmes (PCP)

  • PCPs are career conversion programmes targeted at Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs), including mid-career switchers, to undergo skills conversion and move into new occupations or sectors that have good prospects and opportunities for progression.
  • Eligibility Criteria
    • All SC and PR who are looking into branching out of your current accounting related job role into a different occupation within the sector such as financial forensic professional, internal auditor or management accountant
    • You should not have the relevant experience prior to being hired under the conversion programme
  • Assistance
    • Job placement into a hiring company to undergo structured on-the-job training programme to acquire the necessary skills for the new job
    • While on a PCP, you will be deemed as a full time employee of the hiring company.
Your All-in-One Singapore COVID-19 Finance Aid Package - Explained

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