From 29 October 2020, more than 140,000 employers in Singapore will receive payouts totalling over S$5.5bn under the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS). This amount will help subsidise the June-August wages of about 1.9mn local employees.
According to a press release by the Ministry of Finance (MOF), with this payout, over S$21.5bn of JSS support would have been disbursed.
The MOF reminded employers that it is vital they contribute the right amount of CPF for their employees, based on actual wages paid, given that employers’ CPF contributions are used to determine the amount of JSS payout.
Employers are reminded that the penalties for any attempt to abuse the JSS are severe. Other than having their JSS payouts denied, offenders can be charged under Section 420 of the Penal Code, where they may face up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine.
As part of the checks for JSS eligibility, a handful of employers will receive letters from IRAS asking them to conduct a self-review of their CPF contributions and to provide declarations or documents to substantiate their eligibility for JSS payouts. For these employers, the October 2020 payouts will be withheld, only to be disbursed after the completion of the review.
In its review of the July 2020 JSS payouts earlier this month, 444 employers have had their Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) payouts partially or fully denied by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), amounting to almost S$10mn. At the same time, several unacceptable practices were highlighted by IRAS as employers attempted to receive higher amounts of JSS payouts, many of which involved manipulating the CPF contribution amount.
Employers with PayNow Corporate or GIRO will receive earlier payouts
As with the earlier JSS payouts, employers with PayNow Corporate or GIRO arrangements with IRAS will receive their JSS payouts earlier, from 29 October 2020; while other employers will receive their cheques from 4 November 2020. Employers who sign up for PayNow Corporate by 23 October 2020 will also be able to receive their payouts earlier and seamlessly.
17 months of wage support for most businesses to retain and pay workers
In a Ministerial Statement on 17 August 2020, Minister for Finance, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, and Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that the JSS will be extended by up to seven months, to cover wages paid up to March 2021. While the extended support varies based on the projected recovery of the different sectors, with most businesses can expect to receive wage support for 17 months.
In May, all employers received 75% JSS support from the Government for wages paid in May 2020, to provide immediate cashflow support during the Circuit Breaker.
In this round of JSS payout starting from 29 October, employers will receive support for wages paid in June, July, and August 2020, based on their respective support tiers:
- Aviation, tourism, and built environment sectors will receive 75% support
- Food services, retail, arts and entertainment, land transport, and marine and offshore sectors will receive 50% support
- All other sectors will receive 25% support
Further, firms in industries that were not allowed to resume on-site operations after the Circuit Breaker, will have their support levels topped up to 75% for the period that they were not allowed to resume operations.
Eligible employers will be notified by post of their payout amount. They can also log in to myTax Portal to view the electronic copy of their letter.
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