Public Finance

Government Revenue

The Government’s Overall Revenue comprises the Government’s Operating Revenue and Net Investment Returns Contribution (NIRC). Operating Revenue consists of Tax Revenue, Fees and Charges, and Others. The largest contributors within Operating Revenue are Corporate Income Tax, Personal Income Tax, and Goods and Services Tax. NIRC is the sum of: (1) up to 50% of the expected long-term real return on the relevant assets specified in the Constitution; and (2) up to 50% of the net investment income on the remaining assets.

The main revenue-collecting agencies are the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and the Singapore Customs. IRAS is responsible for the collection of income tax, property tax, Goods and Services Tax (GST), stamp duty, betting duty, casino tax and private lotteries duty. The Singapore Customs collects import GST as well as customs and excise duties on liquors, tobacco, petroleum products and motor vehicles.

Generally, an individual who was in Singapore for a period of 183 days or more in the year preceding the year of assessment would be considered a tax resident of Singapore. Tax residents pay personal income tax at progressive rates on the chargeable income of the preceding year after appropriate deductions and reliefs (e.g. allowable expenses, donations and reliefs). Non-tax resident individuals are not entitled to personal reliefs or rebates and are generally taxed at a flat rate of 15% or at progressive tax rates whichever is higher.

A company is taxed at a flat rate on its chargeable income earned in the preceding financial year. Tax reliefs in the form of tax exemption schemes and corporate income tax rebates may be available to companies to help reduce their taxes. More related information is available on the IRAS website.

GST is a consumption tax paid on goods and services consumed domestically in Singapore, including imported goods and services. The current GST rate is 9 per cent. International services and export of goods are zero-rated (i.e., GST is charged at 0 per cent). No GST is levied on exempt supplies, which include the sale and lease of residential properties, the provision of financial services, the importation and local supply of investment precious metals and the supply of digital payment tokens.


Depreciation is the systematic allocation of the depreciable amount of a depreciable asset over its useful life.

Government Debt

There are presently two key categories of domestic debt instruments.

The first category of domestic debt instruments is issued under the Government Securities (Debt Market and Investment) Act 1992 for non-spending purposes. Borrowing proceeds raised under this Act are invested and cannot be spent. The debt instruments under this Act are issued for specific purposes and include:

1) Publicly held domestic debt instruments comprising (a) Singapore Government Securities (Market Development) and Treasury Bills, which are issued to develop Singapore’s debt markets; (b) Cash Management Treasury Bills, which are issued on an ad-hoc basis as a contingency cash management tool to manage the Government’s short-term cashflow mismatches; and (c) Singapore Savings Bonds, which are issued to provide individual investors with a long-term savings option.

2) Non-publicly held domestic debt instruments comprising (a) Special Singapore Government Securities, which are primarily issued to meet the investment needs of the Central Provident Fund and (b) Reserves Management Government Securities, which are only issued to the MAS to facilitate the existing practice of transferring Official Foreign Reserves above what MAS requires to the Government for longer-term investment.

The second category is issued under the Significant Infrastructure Government Loan Act 2021 (SINGA) for spending purposes. These comprise Singapore Government Securities (Infrastructure) and Green Singapore Government Securities (Infrastructure), which are publicly held. Borrowing proceeds from Singapore Government Securities (Infrastructure) are used to finance spending on nationally significant infrastructure. Borrowing proceeds from Green Singapore Government Securities (Infrastructure) are used to finance nationally significant infrastructure that qualify as eligible green expenditures under the Singapore Green Bond Framework.

Operating Revenue

These are receipts credited to the Consolidated Revenue Account and Development Fund Account, excluding investment and interest income, capital receipts, investment adjustments and receipts related to SINGA. The main components are Corporate Income Tax, Personal Income Tax and Goods and Services Tax.

Total Expenditure

Consists of Operating Expenditure and Development Expenditure.

Operating Expenditure includes Running Costs and Transfers. Running Costs represent the day-to-day operating expenditure of the Government Ministries and Departments on the maintenance of the operations and other regular activities of the Government. The main components of Running Costs are expenditure on manpower, other operating expenditure and operating grants to Statutory Boards and other institutions. Transfers are payments made by the Government to members of the public and outside organisations. These include public assistance, subsidies, subventions and Government contributions to local and international organisations. Operating Expenditure is met from the Consolidated Fund. The Consolidated Fund was constituted by Article 145 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore.

Development Expenditure refers to expenses that represent a longer-term investment and/or are incurred on capital assets in respect of or in connection with the economic development or general welfare of Singapore. Examples of spending areas are the acquisition of heavy equipment as well as capital assets, e.g., buildings and roads. Development Expenditure is met from the Development Fund. The Development Fund was established by the Development Fund Act 1959.

The funding sources of the Development Fund are:
i) money appropriated from time to time from the Consolidated Fund;
ii) proceeds of any loan raised for the purposes of the fund and appropriated to such purposes by the law raising the loan;
iii) loans or grants from time to time made to Singapore for the purposes of or properly allocable to the fund;
iv) revenues of Singapore allocated to the fund;
v) interest and other income from investments of the fund and profits arising from the realisation of any such investments; and
vi) repayments of any loans made from the fund, or payments of interest on such loans.

The Development Fund may be used for:
i) construction, improvement, acquisition or replacement of capital assets (for example, buildings, vehicles, aircraft, machinery, rolling-stock, roads) required in respect of or in connection with the economic development or general welfare of Singapore;
ii) acquisition of land and of any right or interest in or over land and in respect of the use of any invention; and
iii) grants and loans to, or investments in any public authority or corporation for any of the purposes mentioned in (i) and (ii) above.