Estimated Chargeable Filing (ECI) is a compulsory filing requirement for companies unless the company qualifies for a waiver. There are advantages for companies that file their ECI earlier and within the qualifying period as they may opt to pay corporate taxes by instalments.
The benefits for filing ECI early are:
1) Instant acknowledgement upon successful e-filing of your ECI; and
2) A greater number of instalments to pay your company’s estimated corporate taxes.
To encourage earlier filing of ECI, ACRA will give companies more months of instalments the earlier they file. Thus the earlier the ECI is filed, the greater the number of instalments will be given for payment of corporate taxes. This will greatly help the company in its cash flow.

 Singapore Subsidiary CompanySingapore Branch Office
Legal IdentityLegal identity is distinct from the parent company'sNot a separate legal entity but an extension or branch of the foreign parent company
NameCan have a different name from the parent companyThe name of the branch office must be the same as the parent company
Business ActivityCan choose to have the same or different business activity from the parent companyThe business activity of the branch office must be the same as the parent company
LiabilitiesThe liabilities of the subsidiary are limited to itselfThe liabilities of the branch office extend to the parent company
TaxesIt will be taxed as a Singapore resident entityIt will be taxed as a non-resident entity
Local Tax BenefitsAble to benefit from any local tax benefitsNot able to benefit from any local tax benefits
Filing of AccountsOnly the accounts of the subsidiary need to be filedAccounts of both the parent company as well as the branch office are to be filed
Bank AccountCan have a local bank accountCan have a local bank account
HiringThere are no restrictions on hiring local and foreign staff. There is a statutory requirement to have at least one local resident director.There are no restrictions on hiring local and foreign staff. There is a statutory requirement to have at least one local authorised representative.

Please note that the instalment payments are for companies with a valid GIRO arrangement with IRAS. If your company does not have a GIRO arrangement to pay your corporate taxes, you may apply for GIRO payment with ACRA here. You are encouraged to apply for GIRO at least 14 days before e-filing your company’s ECI.
 
When in doubt, seek legal advice or consult an experienced ACRA Filing Agent.
 
Yours Sincerely,
The editorial team at Singapore Secretary Services
 
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