PwC submits proposals for Budget 2019
Should the healthy lifestyles of Singaporeans be rewarded via a national tax credit programme, with smart devices used to track their level of activity? Should local start-ups that invest in costly digital transformation be taxed less to encourage them to go digital?
These are some of the proposals released yesterday by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers Singapore (PwC) for next year's Budget. Its report was submitted to the Ministry of Finance.
In it are 19 recommendations to incentivise businesses and the general population to adopt national business and healthcare initiatives, as well as to attract investors and talent from overseas.
PwC tax leader Chris Woo said the proposed changes will help Singapore have a fiscally sustainable and secure future at a time when increasing uncertainty, changing trade winds and the ageing demographic create challenges and opportunities.
"It is imperative that this Budget prepares for a more uncertain future by recognising the need to balance revenue collection pressure vis-a-vis targeted use of tax measures," said Mr Woo.
Several of the proposals are geared towards encouraging companies to hop onto Singapore's Smart Nation initiative.
Besides a tax relief for smaller enterprises that invest in technology and cyber security, PwC also called for the Government to encourage bigger players to embark on proof-of-concept trials with small local technology start-ups.
The company also proposed that healthcare initiatives be incentivised, including through a fitness tax credit regime, to reward Singaporeans who participate in community wellness programmes and routine exercise. This can be implemented with the aid of smart devices and healthcare technology, such as smart watches, said the firm.
In addition, it called for tax relief for Singaporeans who buy health insurance. - THE STRAITS TIMES