The government of Singapore is offering Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) that is specifically designed to help all business owners improve their business performance. The idea is that you can get tax deductions or cash pay-outs for your business. This is ideal to reduce the cost of business processes or improve your profit at certain times of the year. While on the paper this is certainly ideal and self-explanatory, there are certain requirements of the scheme and important things to follow to ensure you get your grant quickly and efficiently.
1. Your business activity must qualify
The first and most obvious requirement is that your business activities must fall within the PIC categories. These are Information Technology system development, employees’ training, patent registration, Intellectual property Rights Registration, Research and Development Activities, and also Design Projects that have specifically been approved by the Design Singapore Council. If your business activity is covered, you are simply eligible to get the grant.
2. If you are looking to get the grant for design projects, you must have approval from the Design Singapore Council.
As such, it is important to hold discussions with professionals from the IRAS when deciding how to classify your business activities. The IRAS website has detailed information about the technicalities of classification and qualifying activities that are covered.
3. Only Singapore based activities can quality
The aim of this is simple; as the PIC system was created to help Singapore citizens to promote their products or services. The business must be located in Singapore as the aim of the grant is to improve the economic condition of the country. As such, this is one of the most important requirements. The grants were created in Singapore, for Singaporeans, and it will always be this way. As any business owner, or if you plan to start a new company you should already know the requirements of registration within Singapore. By registering in Singapore you are confirming you activities are done in-country and can therefore speed up the process of applying for your grant.
4. You must have 3 or more Singaporeans as your employees
The reason behind this is simple – it will help Singaporeans getting jobs in their home country. At least 3 Singaporeans is the requirement to therefore successfully apply for a grant. This is not a difficult criteria. You should note that this does not mean you are limited to hiring only Singaporeans, in fact it is encouraged to have a good combination of origins to contribute to the success of your company.
5. Actually submit your application on time!
Downloadable from the IRAS website, you need to complete and return the application form. Remember the application process normally takes a few weeks before you can receive your tax deductions or pay-outs so bare this in mind in terms of your cash flow.