Making Singapore a Regional Centre for Philanthropy

6 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2022

See all articles by Kim Kit Ow

Kim Kit Ow

Legal Ink

Vincent Ooi

Singapore Management University - Yong Pung How School of Law; Singapore Management University - Centre for AI & Data Governance

Date Written: October 7, 2022

Abstract

The article highlights the strong ecosystem in Singapore where charitable initiatives are supported and encouraged, and builds on DPM Lawrence Wong's recent comments that the Government is reviewing its tax incentive schemes to encourage increased philanthropic giving.

As a starting point, we suggest three simple ways in which tax incentives could be enhanced:
1) increasing the enhanced tax deduction for donations from the current 2.5 times the amount of qualifying donations to 3 times for certain causes where there is a significant amount of public spending;

2) extending the period for which tax deductions for donations can be carried forward for from the current 5 years, perhaps indefinitely; and

3) consider allowing some tax deductions for donations for selected overseas charitable causes.

These suggestions would build on the existing generous tax incentive schemes for philanthropy, such as the exemption on the income of the foreign account of a philanthropic purpose trust (administered by a trustee company in Singapore) and the not-for-profit organisation tax incentive administered by the Economic Development Board.

No doubt, more sophisticated initiatives are currently in the pipeline and we look forward to them being announced soon.

Finally, the article notes that donors are more likely to be driven by a desire to make a difference in the world rather than to maximise tax savings. As such creating a strong framework for reporting and monitoring the real-world impact of donations is likely to further encourage philanthropy.

Keywords: Philanthropy, Tax Law, Charities Law, Asian Law, Donor-Advised Funds

Suggested Citation

Ow, Kim Kit and Ooi, Vincent, Making Singapore a Regional Centre for Philanthropy (October 7, 2022). The Straits Times, 7 October 2022, Singapore Management University School of Law Research Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4255664 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4255664

Kim Kit Ow

Legal Ink ( email )

Vincent Ooi (Contact Author)

Singapore Management University - Yong Pung How School of Law ( email )

55 Armenian Street
Singapore, 179943
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://vincentooi.com

Singapore Management University - Centre for AI & Data Governance ( email )

55 Armenian Street
Singapore
Singapore

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