New GST Assisted Compliance Assurance Programme
Are you ready to take the plunge?
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore formally announced this week the launch of a long-awaited initiative aimed at streamlining compliance in Goods and Services Tax. Known as the Assisted Compliance Assurance Programme (or ACAP), this initiative aims to bring a new internal controls-focused approach to managing GST.
This novel Programme should be a cost-effective way for both IRAS and taxpayers to deal with GST compliance – in addition to ACAP benefits like automatic renewal of Major Exporter Scheme status, IRAS are offering co-funding for up to half of a taxpayer’s external ACAP costs, capped at S$50,000. ACAP builds on the success of the GST Compliance Assurance Programme (CAP). CAP was launched by IRAS in 2007, and was targeted at securing an internal controls framework for GST in the very largest businesses (those with turnover of S$1 billion or more a year).
Under CAP, IRAS conducted procedures on selected taxpayers using their own resources. Under ACAP, IRAS will permit taxpayers to use their own resources - or contract out - the tasks of documenting and reporting on the GST internal controls framework. IRAS will then vet and review a prescribed ACAP report, then accord ACAP status (and benefits) according to how well the framework copes with the requirements of GST.
Businesses should take the opportunity to consider participation in ACAP. Whilst the Programme is subject to conditions, participation is wholly voluntary and open to all GST registrants. Our experience of similar programmes elsewhere (and in particular in North America and Europe) shows that the early adopters do the best in minimising the impact on their businesses.
What Deloitte can offer
Deloitte has a suite of services to help businesses take advantage of ACAP. They include:
- Evaluation of the readiness of your business to take on ACAP
- Healthchecks and reviews to help taxpayers assess the state of their GST compliance
- The use of our tried and tested Deloitte methodologies to test the effectiveness of companies’ accounting systems, along with review and controls processes associated with GST filing obligations
- Specifically for the new initiative, ACAP readiness services to help ACAP aspirants assess what they need to do, devise implementation plans and then execute against those plans.