Singapore cares for it's SME's

Since 2010, Singapore has developped, through it's Productivity & Innovation Credit scheme (PIC), a powerful incentive plans to SME's that are investing in human capital, innovation and productivity enhancement. This program has been reinforced within the framework of the 2012 budget. The PIC henceforth enables companies to deduct from their Chargeable Income 4 times the amount of their investments or to opt for a cash payout.

Enhancing productivity represents a major aspect of Singapore's economic policy, which sees it as an essential tool to leverage it's growth. The PIC (Productivity & Innovation Credit) is one of the key programs that have been set in place for that matter. It offers tax and financial incentives to companies that are investing in one or several of the following areas: : investment in automation equipement; investment in staff (Employee training); acquisition of intellectual property rights; registration of patents, trademarks, designs and plant varieties; Research & Development activities and investment in approved design projects. 

Concretely, companies can, in each field, deduct each year from their Chargeable Income ( between 2010 and 2015) 400% of their expenses, with a cap at 400.000 SGD, or opt for a cash payout equivalent to  30% of the expenses in 2010 and 2011, and to 60% of the expenses starting in 2012, with an expenses cap of 100.000 SGD.

What's striking is the openness and simplicity of the scheme. Incentives are based on investments that are not exceptional but take place in the companies normal development process.  Companies engage the expenses with no required pre-agreement.  They declare their expenses in their tax form or claim for a cash payout the next quarter following the investment. The staje is to facilitate the decision to invest, to accelerate and ampliy the process. 

In the field of training, the PIC represents an important stimulus. It enables companies to launch ambitious training programs, from hard skills training to the development of management skills and leadership, for a fraction of the initial cost: a training invoiced 10.000 SGD in 2012 will cost only 4000 SGD to a company opting for a 60% cash payout.

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