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XBRL Filing Requirements in Singapore

XBRL Filing Requirements in Singapore

Under the Singapore Company Law, businesses in the city-state are required to file tax returns with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Starting with December 2013, a new regulation has established that approximately all types of companies are required to use a special language for electronic communication called Extensible Business Reporting Language or XBRL in order to report their financial information.

Below, we invite you to read about the XBRL filing requirements applicable for companies in Singapore. With the help of our company formation specialists in Singapore the accounting and tax filing requirements of your business can be completed in accordance with the latest laws and regulations.

How does the XBRL language work?

XBRL is not used in Singapore only, as it is an open-source software which has proved to be very efficient when it comes to the organization, management and analysis of financial data. XBRL is also used for worldwide electronic communication, thus enabling companies and individuals to access financial information about a company abroad.

With respect to Singapore, ACRA has adopted XBRL with the purpose of streamlining the financial reporting requirements local companies must comply with. The same language is used to facilitate the financial information flow within the international business community.

If you want to open a company in Singapore and need information about the accounting requirements applicable based on the type of structure chosen, our local agents can explain them to you.

Filing financial statements in Singapore using the XBRL language

Apart from companies which are exempt from filing financial statements, all companies must comply with the XBRL filing requirements in Singapore. The information to be conveyed to ACRA using the XBRL system depends on the type of structure used by the company: some companies must file all financial statements using the XBRL language, other must file only salient financial information through the XBRL system, however, they are required to file the remaining documents in a PDF format.

The following types of companies are required to comply with the XBRL filing requirements in Singapore:

  1. private and public companies must file a full set of financial documents in XBRL format;
  2. commercial banks, merchant banks and insurance companies must file financial statement highlights in XBRL format;
  3. companies using different reporting standards than the SFRS and IFRS must file financial statement highlights using the XBRL language;
  4. insolvent exempt private companies can fully or partially use the XBRL language to file their statements;
  5. solvent exempt private companies are not required to use the XBRL filing system, but they are allowed to.

Sole traders, limited partnerships and foreign companies with operations in Singapore must file their financial statements in the PDF format.

Our Singapore company formation advisors can help you understand the financial reporting requirements your company must comply with.

XBRL filing options in Singapore

As mentioned above, there are two options for Singapore companies filing their financial statements in Singapore through the XBRL filing format. The first option refers to filing the full set of a company’s annual financial report which must comprise:

  • – the company’s balance sheet;
  • – the auditor’s report;
  • – the income statement;
  • – the cash flow statement;
  • – the director’s statements;
  • – all financial statement notes;
  • – the statement of changes in equity.

The second option is applicable for companies which are not required to use the XBRL filing system but want to use it. These must file a partial annual financial report in the XBRL format, while the other information must be filed in the PDF format. The income statement, the balance sheet and other information requested by the software must be filed in the XBRL format.

It is important to note that all companies with financial statements with the end period after April 2007 are required to file their annual financial report using the XBRL format.

Our company formation consultants in Singapore can help you fulfill the XBRL filing requirements imposed by ACRA.

Singapore as an investment destination

Singapore is one of the most appealing investment destinations in Southeast Asia, considering that:

  • – the construction sector expanded by 2.9% on a yearly basis in the second quarter of 2019;
  • – the transportation and storage sector also increased by 2.2% in the second quarter of this year;
  • – the accommodation and food sectors also grew by 0.9% on an annual basis in the second quarter of 2019;
  • – the overall economic performance in the 2nd quarter of 2019 was 0.1% higher than in the previous one.

For assistance in complying with the XBRL filing requirements and company formation services in Singapore, please contact us.