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Nexia Pulse Quarter 1 2020

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Stay Vigilant and Prepare for Recovery - Cybersecurity Concerns Amidst the COVID19 Outbreak

The ability to protect our homes, livelihoods and health from a sudden onslaught has become the primary concern of citizens around the world in view of the COVID-19 outbreak. With business continuity in mind, a slew of preventive measures has been rolled out by companies to minimise risk and exposure, while still maintaining business as usual as far as possible. The speed of rolling out these measures, however, suggests a few questions such as:
1) Are firms well equipped to support such wide measures of off-site working?  2) Are incident response plans updated and tested to handle adverse situations such as an office disruption?

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Quarterly Reporting - Focusing on What Matters

The recent shift away from mandatory quarterly reporting (QR) is seen as a refreshing and much welcomed change for most listed companies. Prior to this, almost 600 out of 850 companies listed had to file quarterly financial reports. Quarterly reporting in the past adopted a size-based approach which not only was seen as added compliance costs and time costs, but as well not value adding as what it should be, thus leaving companies with minimal focus on what matters most. Under the new approach, a company only has to undertake QR if it does not have clean audit opinions or face financial and regulatory compliance issues. SGX has since released a list of some 100 companies which are required to continue with QR, and this list will be reviewed on a quarterly basis. Otherwise, companies are only required to do semi-annual reporting.

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SGX Introduced More Robust Disclosure Requirements

With effect from 7 February 2020, Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) has implemented a new risk-based approach to quarterly reporting to replace the current reporting requirement based on companies meeting a certain minimum market capitalization. At the same time, it has introduced more robust disclosure rules for all listed companies. The affected areas are mainly interested person transactions (IPTs), significant financial assistance, significant transactions and dilutive secondary fund-raising.

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China Simplifies Tax Treaty Benefits Process

The Chinese State Administration of Taxation (SAT) has released a long-awaited change to the process by which non-resident individuals or companies may obtain Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty (DTAT) withholding tax benefits related to China-sourced active and passive income. This latest set of regulations has been promulgated as SAT Announcement [2019] Number 35, which took effect on January 1, 2020. Regulatory goals include streamlined tax administration and improved convenience for non-resident taxpayers.

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Common Corporate Income Tax Mistakes Made By Small and Family Owned Businesses

Filing for corporate income tax is mandatory for all businesses in Singapore and many small and family-owned business owners may think of taxes only in the weeks leading to the deadline, causing a struggle to submit the necessary forms to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) on time. Here, we briefly introduce the corporate income tax rate and the four common mistakes that small and family owned business can avoid making when filing for corporate income tax.

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