Govt accepts two suggestions to develop S'pore's philanthropic hub
Sun, Nov 11, 2007
TWO suggestions that may help Singapore develop into a philantrophic hub have been accepted by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS).

Charities will have a longer time-frame - five years instead of two - to decide how they will use the bulk of their annual receipts.

Previously, charities had to spend at least 80 per cent of their annual receipts on charitable causes here within two years to receive income tax exemption.

In addition, a requirement that they must disburse a minimum percentage of funds annually has been removed.

The changes will enable charities to optimise their investments and use of funds over time to sustain their charitable programmes.

This would in turn help develop Singapore as an attractive hub for global philanthropic organisations.

The two changes came after a month-long public consultation. They will come into effect on Jan 1 next year.

A total of 23 responses were received by the MOF and MCYS, of which 17 came from organisations.

The public consultation followed several changes to the taxation and regulatory frameworks for the charity sector in Second Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam's 2007 Budget Statement in February this year.

Key changes announced in February included the provision of double tax deductions for donations made through intermediaries, as long as the donations are channelled to Institutions of Public Character (IPCs) in Singapore.

Read the full report in Monday's edition of The Straits Times.

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