When filing taxes or interacting with government agencies, have you come across the acronym TIN? Has it left you stumped about what it means? Don’t fret, for we have you covered. In this article, we will take you through what is a Tax Identification Number in Singapore, how to check a Singapore Tax Identification Number , the difference between an individual Tax Identification Number and a Tax Identification Number for a Singapore company, and how you can obtain one.
When filing taxes or interacting with government agencies for specific tasks, the government will ask you to furnish a unique set of alphanumeric combinations to identify you. This identification key is called a Tax Identification Number or a TIN.
Think of TIN as similar to your bank account number. Every individual and organization has a bank account number explicitly generated for them. Without a bank account number, it wouldn't be possible to identify the correct account. A TIN allows governments and government agencies to process tax-related transactions.
If you are an individual based in Singapore, you will be assigned a Tax Reference Number by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore. Suppose you are a business or any other kind of organization. In that case, you will be given a Tax Identification Number, specifically known as a Unique Entity Number (UEN), by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (ACRA) or other relevant government agencies.
Whether you apply for a Tax Reference Number or a Unique Entity Number (UEN) as a business, your Tax Identification Number in Singapore will be nine to 10 digits long, comprising alphanumerics.
The sequence comprises a nine to 10-digit combination of numbers and letters in both cases. For businesses, your UEN will be nine digits long. Local companies will be given TINs that are 10 digits long. Foreign companies also have TINs that are 10 digits long. You may be assigned a nine or 10 digits long TIN as an individual. Suppose you are a Singaporean citizen or a Permanent Resident of Singapore. In that case, you can use your National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) to apply for a TIN, which will typically be nine characters long. As a foreign citizen, you will be issued a TIN based on your foreign Identification Number (FIN).
The most important use of a TIN is to file taxes. As an individual or a business, when filing your taxes for a financial year with the Inland Revenue Services of Singapore, you must furnish your TIN to access your tax-filing page. For this reason, it becomes essential that all individuals and organizations keep a record of their TIN, especially during tax-filing season.
As a business, when you remit Central Provident Fund (CPF) payments to your employees, you will be required to disclose your own and your employees' TINs. That helps the government keep track of CPF payments and levy taxes accordingly.
Another important transaction that requires the TIN is when your business engages in importing or exporting products and services. The government needs clarity about the money spent or generated from foreign sources. The foreign income or expense will be taxed accordingly.
Suppose you want to update your Information on the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore's Bizfile system. In that case, you must use the TIN to access the site and make the required changes.
As discussed before, the TIN for individuals, businesses and other organizations differ depending on the kind of entity.
A business's Unique Entity Number is a standard entity identification number registered with Singapore's Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. The usual format for a business UEN comprises nine characters - NNNNNNNNC - where N numbers and C is a check alphabet. For local companies, a Unique Entity Number is a standard entity identification number registered with Singapore's Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, structured as YYYYNNNNNC. As you can see, these are ten characters long, where YYYY refers to the year of incorporation, N is a unique set of numbers, and C is a check alphabet. Entities apart from local and other businesses, such as foreign companies, non-profit organizations or individuals, are also issued entity identification numbers. They are usually in the following formats:
· F000NNNNNC or FDDDNNNNNC
· SYYPQNNNNC or TYYPQNNNNC
· ASGD: ANNNNNNNC
· ITR: 4NNNNNNNNC
Where: D is a space, C is a check alphabet, N is numeric, TYY and SYY are the years of issuance, PQ is the entity type, e.g. “PF” stands for Public Accounting Firms while “FC” stands for Foreign Companies.
· Where # is an alphabet that could be "S", "T", "F" or "G", which is assigned depending upon your status. As a Singaporean citizen or a resident born before 2000, you will be allotted the letter "S". If you are born in, and after 2000, you will be given the letter "T". As a foreigner holding employment or a student pass issued before 2000, your TIN will begin with the letter "F". If you are a foreigner holding employment or a student pass issued in and after 2000, you will be assigned the letter "G"
· Where 0000000 is a seven-digit serial number. As a citizen or a permanent resident born in 1968 and after, your NRIC number will begin with your birth year, e.g. 80xxxxx#. If your birthday is in or before 1967, the NRIC number does not relate to the year of birth and most often begins with 0 or 1. As a non-native Singaporean born before 1967, you will be assigned numbers starting with 2 or 3 after receiving your permanent residency or citizenship. These are assigned randomly based on the issuance number. Subsequent numbers are only for people obtaining permanent residency or citizenship after 2008 ("4" or "5")
· @ is a checksum alphabet
As a citizen, you can get your Tax Identification Number from your Singapore National Registration Identity Card. Use the guide above to identify the alphanumeric characters that are your TIN. If you are a foreigner, you can check your Unique Account, SingPass or Foreign Identification Number (FIN) for your TIN.
To check for your company's TIN or the UEN, go to the BizFile website. The next thing to do is to search the company's name in the search bar. You can also get another entity's UEN. First, check whether the entity is registered with the ACRA or any other agency. You can search for the UEN of another company registered with ACRA here.
Applying for a Tax Identification Number in Singapore differs for individuals, companies and other organizations.
The IRAS issues TINs only to individuals. The process is slightly different for businesses, societies, trade unions, and other organizations.
If you are looking for assistance to incorporate your company, whether you are a startup or simply in the ideation stage, our Kickstart services can help you. Get professional advice on how to go about incorporating your business. We will guide you through every step of the way and assist you with getting your TIN/UEN.
No matter who you are, if you reside in Singapore, it is mandatory for you to have a Tax Identification Number. As you may have now understood, TIN is beneficial to both individuals and organizations for various purposes apart from just tax filing. Individuals employed with a company require TIN to receive the Central Provident Fund contributions. Businesses need it to carry out import/ export trades and update all relevant information.
This article should have helped you understand what is Tax Identification Number in Singapore, what a TIN looks like for individuals and businesses, how you can identify your TIN and the process of applying for a TIN. If you are a new business, you can approach Aspire to help you with incorporation and receive your TIN in no time.