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“The appeal of Singapore is zero tax”

In Economy, EDB on 24/01/2019 at 6:50 am

The above is the headline of a side article from the FT on Dyson’s move to shift its HQ here, though the main reason for the move seems to be to

liberate the business from UK disclosure rules for privately-owned companies, which Sir James has previously criticised as giving too much away to foreign competitors.

Main FT article

The text of “The appeal of Singapore is zero tax” reads

One of Singapore’s strongest appeals for foreign companies is the potential to lower their tax rate to zero per cent.

The headline rate of corporate tax is 17 per cent, a level that the UK will match from 2020, down from 19 per cent at present.

However, a combination of incentive schemes, which include an international headquarters award, can bring the country’s rate down to nothing.

“It is very very rare, but it has happened in the past,” said Chris Woo, tax leader at PwC Singapore.

Another corporate tax expert said it was “not impossible” for Dyson to snatch the 0 per cent corporate tax rate given it produces high-end goods that would transfer technology to Singapore; it will probably increase capital expenditure and high-skilled headcount; and it would boost R&D activity in the country — all of which is of interest to Singapore.

Dyson on Tuesday said it would expand its Singapore Technology Centre and that “an increasing proportion” of Dyson’s executive team will be based in the south-east Asian nation given a growing majority of the company’s customers and manufacturing operations are based in Asia.

In addition, the Singapore Economic Development Board offers companies tax exemptions or concessionary tax rates of 5 or 10 per cent for up to five years, with the possibility of extension.

To qualify, companies must boost employment, generate investment that spills over to the local economy and commit to developing technology, knowhow and skills in the city state, according to the EDB.

“The EDB must have pulled out all the stops to convince Dyson to relocate its headquarters,” said Eugene Tan, law professor at Singapore Management University.

Kiren Kumar, assistant managing director at the EDB, said: “Singapore and Dyson have enjoyed a strong partnership for more than ten years.

“Dyson has grown from a small team developing motors to 1,100 employees undertaking a variety of functions including supply chain management, advanced manufacturing and R&D”.

Stefania Palma

Related posts: What ST & CNA not saying abt Dyson’s move of HQ to S’pore and Ang moh manufacturer employs more people here than in China and planning to employ a lot more.

 

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