MAS updates tax schemes for family office Singapore

Last updated on 17 July 2023

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced changes to qualifying criteria for single family office (SFOs) fund vehicles seeking for tax exemptions under sections 13O (S13O) and 13U (S13U) of the Income Tax Act, on 5 July 2023, which takes effect immediately to new applicants setting up family office in Singapore under these schemes.

The key changes include:

  • Removal of grace period for the satisfaction of minimum required assets under management (AUM) for both S13O and S13U. With effect from 5 July 2023, the minimum AUM will be required at the point of application and throughout the incentive period
  • Change for S13O, where there will be a requirement for at least one of the investment professionals who is not a family member of the beneficial owner
  • Changes on spending requirements to a tiered spending model
  • Changes to options in capital deployment

In a bid to encourage SFOs in Singapore to deploy their capital more purposefully, the MAS has broadened its scope of tax incentives coverage. The expanded scheme extends coverage to blended finance structure, and recognises overseas climate-related investments and in Singapore businesses.

To spur more investments into less attractive areas such as green technology and green transition initiatives, MAS will recognise up to 2 dollars of investments for every dollar of concessional capital invested. Concessional capital refers to capital that accepts lower returns or higher risks compared to other investors. When computing their Singapore family office requirements, SFOs may take into account up to twice the amount invested in Singapore-listed equities and funds. The multiplier aims to encourage more investments by SFOs into Singapore.

MAS also announced the philanthropy tax incentive scheme (PTIS) for family to encourage professional giving by SFOs, which can extend to overseas donations if made through qualifying local intermediaries.

While the setting up of SFOs in Singapore and the inflow of wealth into Singapore brings about benefits to the local economy in terms of jobs, domestic demands and capital funding to the local enterprises, MAS highlighted concerns on the risk of potential money laundering. Additional measures to strengthen surveillance and monitoring of this risk are being discussed.

The SFO sector is in the growing phase, where there would be developments and changes taking place. Contact us and let us assist you in following these developments and support you in setting up family office in Singapore.