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SoftBank – Did you pay your fair share of tax?

A friend sent me this article from Nikkei Asia entitled “A Taxing Problem” written by Kawase, Miyakawa, and Suzuki recently.

Essentially the article is trying to address the question as to why SoftBank, being once Japan’s most profitable company, pays so little tax.

My understanding and conclusion after reading the article are as follows. Softbank, as a company in Japan, enjoys these two advantages.

(1) dividend income received is largely tax-free in Japan and;

(2) the capital losses from the share transfers can be carried forward and offset against future profits.

While SoftBank may not be paying much tax within the letters of the law, it does not mean it is a costless affair for Softbank. At the end of the day, it has actually suffered a paper loss in investment eg. the Arm Holdings’ shares, to create the loss to be carried forward.

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ACCA – Budget 2022, Singapore

I am happy to contribute to ACCA’s annual discussion of Budget 2022.

Please have a read.

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Hi! I was the Symposium Chair

ACCA Technical Symposium 2019
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State of loan market in Sg

State of the loan market is an indication of the future of Singapore?

Some would borrow to fund a future they could see.
Some would borrow to pay for the past.
For the rest, they will not dare to go near the banks.
Interest is daily thingy.
With or without income/business, the interest is accumulating and payable eventually.

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Budget 2020 – Business Leaders’ Wishlists

BT 10 Feb 2020

Putting support measures for virus situation aside, the upcoming Budget 2020 should also address longer-term issues such as economic transformation, digitalisation, the environment, and the ageing population, said business leaders.
Economic ====================================================================
Ernst & Young managing partner for Brunei and Singapore, Max Loh

  • The Budget should press on with the economic transformation agenda that has been set in motion at the industry and workforce levels as a longer-term imperative.”
  • This means improving firms’ and workers’ capabilities, and tackling gaps between current skills and future opportunities, he said.

Deloitte Singapore chief executive officer Cheung Pui Yuen

  • Policy support to develop and deepen workers’ capabilities should continue to remain high priority to assure the workforce of their jobs, and to make available quality human capital for businesses

Robert Half Singapore managing director Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard

  • Equipping the Singapore workforce with digital skills.

Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants CEO Lee Fook Chiew

  • Digital training should start before the tertiary level.


Business leaders called for continued support to help firms – particularly small and medium enterprises – enter foreign markets, not least in Asean.


Environmental & Sustainability =======================================================================
PacificLight Power CEO, Yu Tat Ming

  • Incentivising firms to be sustainable will not only reduce carbon emissions, but possibly create economic spinoffs in the form of new technologies, and result in cost savings and productivity improvements

Johnson Controls country general manager for Singapore and Asia-Pacific GM for transformation, David Kirubi

  • To encourage firms “to adopt the triple bottom line, which includes social and environmental considerations”

Singapore Green Building Council president Ho Nyok Yong

  • Suggested areas where the Budget could give support include the adoption of low-carbon, energy efficient technologies; renewable energy; green buildings; sustainable financing; and incentivising less waste
  • hopes for “a holistic, fiscally feasible and long-term climate action plan”.

Envysion Wealth Management CEO Veronica Shim

  • To look at climate change’s implications to Singapore’s port from possible opening of Arctic shipping routes

Ageing ==================================================================
Singapore International Chamber of Commerce chief executive Victor Mills

  • “end ageism in the workforce to maximise citizen potential”.

Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries executive director Christina Teo

  • To help older workers “comfortably and contribute further to the economy”
  • To invest in preventive healthcare

Philips Singapore country manager Ivy Lai

  • further use of technology and artificial intelligence to improve healthcare

Singapore National Co-operative Federation CEO, Dolly Goh

  • “Social entities such as co-operatives can step in to address some areas of healthcare needs such as long-term affordable and holistic healthcare services like senior homes and eldercare centres,”

Tsao Foundation CEO, Peh Kim Choo

  • Ageism results in “many cultural, social-economic and structural barriers” for older people in workplaces and society. Budget 2020 to push for a mindset change at all levels of society.
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Indranee Rajah – more clues?

ST 06 Feb 2020

Budget to include measures to cope with coronavirus, and support business, workers, families: Indranee Rajah

Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Finance, said that the Budget for 2020 will contain measures such as:-

  • helping companies and workers transform
  • supporting families in coping with the cost of living and caregiving needs
    ensuring financial stability
  • supporting businesses and individuals which were affected by the Corona virus
    having a relief package to help the transport and tourism sectors who were severely hit by the virus

Other initiatives also include: –

  • helping laid-off workers access new jobs
  • helping smaller companies to scale up and hire people with the right skills
    having incentives to employ older workers
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Budget 2020 – What are the people’s concerns?

ST 05 Feb 2020

Budget 2020: GST hike, climate change, help for seniors, workers and families are top concerns

Based from the findings released by the government feedback unit Reach and People’s Association (PA), support for workers, seniors, and families were among the top concerns of Singaporeans.

Other issues also include the impending increase in GST rate and concerns on climate change.

The results were concluded based from 10,000 responses, which was gathered from Dec 02, 2019 to Jan 20, 2020.

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Lawrence Wong – more clues?

BT 03 Feb 2020

Firms may get interim help ahead of Budget virus support package: Lawrence Wong

Prior to the announcement of the Budget for 2020, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the multi-ministry taskforce on the novel coronavirus said that the government will establish measures to assist firms affected by the Wuhan virus.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has already announced to shoulder half of cleaning and disinfection costs for hotels with suspected cases.

Other measures to be implemented include:

  • providing quarantine allowance
  • supporting affected workers and protect their livelihoods
  • providing ComCare financial assistance and social support to those in need
  • supporting sectors such as tourism and transport and related industries and firms, that are directly hit by the virus
  • considering taking action against irresponsible behaviors, such as landlords who evict Chinese tenants who are on their leave of absence
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Heng Swee Keat – A clue?

ST 01 Feb 2020

Targeted help for transport, tourism sectors worst hit by Wuhan virus outbreak, ‘strong’ Budget to help workers and slowing economy: Heng Swee Keat

  • In addition to the Budget initiatives addressing a decline in the economic activity, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said that Budget 2020 will also include measures to support the transport and tourism sectors, which were severely affected by the onset of Wuhan virus.
  • Mr Heng also mentioned that these measures will resemble the Government’s $230 million package during the 2003 Sars crisis.
  • He also noted that initiatives like SkillsFuture which was not available during that time, can now be implemented by the Government.
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Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) – Budget 2020 Wishlist

ST 21 Jan 2020

Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), the employers’ group hopes Budget will include wage offsets and funding to defray costs of hiring older workers

  • Employers seek wage offsets in the form of Special Employment Credit (SEC) in response to the higher employment costs associated with increasing retirement age, re-employment age, and higher Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rates for older workers.
  • This is SNEF’s budget wishlist following the report and proposals by the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers in August.
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