The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has announced that more than 85,000 employers in Singapore will receive about $660 million in Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) payouts by 31 March 2017. Additionally, SMEs will receive around 70% of the sum disbursed.

Through the WCS payouts in March 2017, the government co-funds 20% of the qualifying wage increases given in 2015 and 2016 to more than 600,000 Singaporean employees.

Eligible employers will receive letters from the IRAS by 31 March 2017, informing them of the total WCS payout they will be receiving.

Employers who wish to check their eligibility can do so on the IRAS website from 17 March 2017. The payout will be credited directly into employers’ GIRO bank account used for income tax and GST purposes, or issued as cheques to employers.

As for appeals regarding the WCS payouts, it must be submitted to IRAS by 30 June and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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The WCS was introduced in 2013 as part of the Transition Support Package. It is intended to help businesses cope with rising wage costs so that they can free up resources to invest in productivity, and share their productivity gains with their employees.

Under the extended WCS in 2016 and 2017, the government co-funds 20% of wage increases given to Singaporean employees earning a gross monthly wage of $4,000 and below, over 2015 to 2017.

Employers who would like to qualify for the last tranche of WCS payouts in 2018 have to pay qualifying wage increases to Singaporean employees in 2017 or sustain qualifying wage increases given in 2015 and/or 2016.

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