Revision of ACRA’s Late Filing Penalty for Annual Lodgements

Written By: Rachel Sia

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Last updated: January 5, 2021
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All Singapore Incorporated companies, must file their Annual Returns after the end of their financial year end. Filing of annual returns is only 1 of other mandatory compliance of companies incorporated in Singapore.

A penalty for late filing will be imposed against Companies, Variable Capital Companies (VCCs) and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) for their late filing of annual returns and annual declarations.

Revision of ACRA late filing Penalty

*NOTE: The revised penalty framework is only applicable for late filing of annual lodgments. Ad hoc filings remain the same, as ACRA continues to review them.

Effective from 30th April 2021, the framework for the penalty of late lodgement will be changed. Refer to the table below for the upcoming changes.

Entity TypeLate Penalty (Current)Late Penalty (30 Apr 2021 onwards)
Local Companies and Variable Capital Companies (VCC)Fixed rate of $300 regardless of lateness.If filed within 3 months after due date: $300

If filed more than 3 months after due date: $600
Foreign Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP)Tiered penalty ranging from $50 - $350 (8 different tiers)If filed within 3 months after due date: $300

If filed more than 3 months after due date: $600

What does this mean?

Essentially, regardless of your entity type, the late filing penalty will become more severe.

For example, for local companies and VCC, under the current framework (before 30 Apr 2021), the maximum penalty imposed would only be $300. From 30 Apr 2021 onwards, late filing penalty would be at least $300, and may be $600 if the filing is late for more than 3 months from the due date.

On the other hand, foreign companies the LLPs would be impacted the most. Since under the current framework, their minimum penalty is only $50 (if slightly past due date). The new scheme would increase their minimum penalty to $300, and may increase to $600.

Why the proposed change?

ACRA’s objective is to simplify, as a whole, the penalty framework to a 2-tier system (within 3 months, and more than 3 months) regardless of entity type. Their effort is to make compliance simple, as well as to encourage companies and LLPs to adopt a more serious view towards their statutory obligations on annual reporting.

In addition, this change will make it simpler for understanding, and computation of penalties.

What happens if I am already late?

The revised penalty will only take effect from 30th April 2021. As such it is recommended to file the entity’s annual lodgement before then.

You may also submit an appeal for waiver of the late penalty. A representation form must be prepared and submitted to ACRA. Please note however, ACRA usually only approve such waiver due to special or urgent circumstance. Common reasonings such as the following are rarely acceded to:

  1. Just a Nominee or “sleeping” director
  2. Do not have time or money to deal with compliance requirements
  3. Company is small and cannot justify hiring a company secretary
  4. Do not know how to use the online system
  5. Duty of the hired company secretary
  6. Relied on information prepared by third party and did not review information
  7. Did not receive reminders from ACRA

If you have engaged us as your company secretary, please contact us if you require our assistance in preparing and submitting the representation.

Make sure your company is compliant

Your focus should be on your business. Appoint a registered company secretary to handle everything else.