Quarterly E-Newsletter July 2019

A Message from the Managing Partner

Mr Helmi Talib, Managing Partner of the Helmi Talib Group.

As we work towards the upcoming expansion of the company, it has been an opportune time to reflect on the recipe of the Helmi Talib Group’s success.

The key ingredient has been the strength and resilience of our team in picking up additional operational tasks on top of their client portfolios. The ability of each team member to multi-task has proven to be a vital professional skill in a growing Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) like ours, and more so out in the growing economy of our rapidly developing nation.

Employers are constantly on the lookout for more – more capacity, more skill, more innovation, more growth. Thus, an individual who is well able to spread their wings and learn to fly will be in high demand. At the Helmi Talib Group, we do our best to go the extra mile and support our employees in unpacking their potential – we want our team to learn and grow with us and be able to enjoy employee mobility opportunities in our new Manila office and growing global reach as they become more frequent in our normal course of business.

Moving into the third quarter of the year, where plans built in Q1 and Q2 are being brought to life, we are eager to stay on the lookout for opportunities to support our team to grow with the firm and fine-tune their skill-set.

Eid Dinner 2019

Staff of the Helmi Talib Group and their families.
It was an evening of food, fun and festivities at this year’s Eid Dinner where the team donned traditional batik outfits.
A round of games reminiscent of our childhood – guessing the titles to local kampong songs; warmed us up for the evening as we settled into a hearty meal of classic Eid dishes.
All in all, it was a cheery evening sharing the occasion with our colleagues and their families.

A big thank you to the Helmi Talib Group Sports and Recreation Committee (HTSRC) for another successful event!

ISCA Games Ready

Bowlers of the Helmi Talib Group in session.
Participating in the ISCA Games is an annual affair at the Helmi Talib Group. Proudly representing the firm at this year’s ISCA games are our Bowling team and Pool team, comprised of dedicated men and women from the various departments at the Helmi Talib Group.

In the name of healthy competition, our serious athletes will be ramping up their training sessions in the weeks leading up to the ISCA Games 2019 held later on in the year. Let’s go, sportsmen! 

More about the ISCA Games 2019 HERE

Office events

Mr Helmi Talib presenting Sam with a specially requested birthday gift.
May 2019 witnessed double the joy as the Helmi Talib Group celebrated the birthdays of those born in the month of May, followed by a communal meal in light of Ramadan.

Iftar, or fatoor, as it is known in English, is the evening meal in which Muslims end their day of fast. Out in Turkey, most of the Ramadan celebration practices have their roots in the traditions of the former Ottoman Empire. As soon as the sun sets, a traditional “Ramadan Cannon” is fired from the highest hill in every city as a signal to start eating the iftar.
Lights called kandil are then switched on at the top of the minarets of the mosques from sunset to dawn.

Avengers: Endgame Movie Screening

Staff from the various entities of the Helmi Talib Group

The much anticipated day had finally arrived!

Days before the movie’s release, movie enthusiasts at the Helmi Talib Group re-watched the marvel sequel in a bid to relive the action leading up to the Endgame.

The grandeur of the Gold Class theatre had set the mood for the evening as we eagerly awaited the curtain draw on the night of the movie’s release. 30 staff from the various departments of the Helmi Talib Group and their guests enjoyed all the action and adventure the marvel heroes had in store for us whilst dining in style. 

Service Companies transiting out of the “Cost Plus Mark-Up” (CM) basis of assessment.

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) allows as an administrative concession, service companies providing services to related parties only to compute their chargeable income based on a 5% mark-up on total (direct, indirect, and operating) costs, without any tax adjustments (i.e. applying the CM basis of assessment).

A service company is one that renders service to its related parties – the type of services may include management and administrative support services.

IRAS has updated the conditions for service companies adopting the CM basis of assessment as follows:

Service companies that do not meet both conditions a) and b) below cannot continue to be assessed under the CM basis and are required to transit to the “Normal Trading Company” (“NTC”) basis, latest by the Year of Assessment (YA) 2020 (i.e. financial year ending 2019).

The CM basis of assessment is now strictly meant for service companies that:
a) Provide routine support services to only their related parties (i.e. does NOT offer the same services to an unrelated party) and
b) Adopts a 5% mark-up on costs as the arm’s length charge for their routine support services.

Routine support services include accounting, payroll, human resource and auditing services (the list is not exhaustive – refer to Annex C of IRAS’s E-Tax Guide on “Transfer Pricing Guidelines”). If conditions a) and b) are not met, the service company has to transit to the NTC basis of assessment latest by YA 2020.

This means that service companies currently on the CM basis of taxation and providing:

1) Routine services and adopting a mark-up other than 5% (supported by a transfer pricing analysis to demonstrate that their charge is on an arm’s length basis)
2) Non-routine services yet adopting a 5% mark-up on cost
3) Non-routine services and adopting a mark-up other than 5% on cost

would have to change to the NTC basis in YA 2019 or latest by YA 2020.

Newly incorporated service companies should review the nature/scope of the services they render to ascertain if they qualify for the CM basis of assessment. If yes, is it beneficial to adopt the CM basis of assessment or go ahead with the NTC basis of taxation? The latter may mean preserving start-up losses whilst the CM basis means foregoing these tax losses along with claims for capital allowance on fixed assets, double tax deductions, etc.

Service companies providing routine support services for a fee at a 5% mark-up are not affected. They should, however, continue to monitor their scope of service to ensure that they qualify for the CM basis. In the event that their services change to non-routine (i.e. fall outside the scope of the CM basis of assessment), they would have to change to the NTC basis of assessment.

For service companies that no longer fulfil both conditions a) and b) and are required to transit to the NTC basis, they should apply IRAS’s transition rules in the transition YA. For example, the capital allowances on plant and machinery is computed based on its opening “Net Book Value” (“NBV”) at the start of the transition YA (NBV is deemed as the tax written down value).

Service companies transiting to NTC will now have the option of availing themselves to IRAS’s administrative concession to exempt the following:
• Group insurance premium benefits (excluding medical) where the employee is
contractually entitled to a pay-out during trigger events provided the employer
foregoes a tax deduction on the premium paid
• Employer contributions to overseas pension funds on their employees, subject
to conditions.

For service companies on the CM basis of taxation, IRAS’s administrative concession is not applicable. Insurance premiums borne by a service company on group insurance coverage for its employees has to be allocated and reported in the respective employees’ Forms IR8A.

The same applies to a service company on the CM basis that contributes home country
pension/provident funds for its expatriate employees working in Singapore – such
contributions are taxable in the hands of its employees.


WELCOME: The Helmi Talib Group welcomed Aqilah Nash to our audit team this June.
As the crowned chatterbox in her circle of friends, Aqilah surprises the majority with her mellow hobbies – she enjoys her downtime stretching her limbs at a yoga session or working on her culinary skills at a cooking class.
Inspired by her mother who manages the household like clockwork, Aqilah aspires to have the same diligence and discipline as her super mum. 
A feline enthusiast since young, Aqilah enjoys everything cat-related – from watching YouTube videos of them to reading up about the different species and breeds.

WELCOME: The Helmi Talib Group welcomed Gem Paula to our audit team this June.
Remembered by her friends for her cheerful disposition, Gem is an easily tickled character who sees the comedic side of life in the smallest of incidents and lifts her team’s spirits with her laughter.
Gem also has a serious side and describes herself as “an old soul” with her love of music from the 80’s and 90’s.
A fan of the Obamas, Gem instinctively chose Michelle Obama to share a meal with if given the chance – “I think she’s a cool person and there’s much to learn from a conversation with her.”
Gem spends her weekends catching up on her current favourite Netflix series, Lucifer.

WELCOME: The Audit team’s newest member is Amal Radiah.
Fresh on the scene, Radiah’s eagerness to learn and curiosity about the audit industry is a welcome breath of fresh air.
Radiah holds her parents in high regard and looks to them as a source of inspiration.
“I am so thankful for my pillars of support and I can only repay them by working hard.” says a reserved and warm young lady all set to work towards inspiring others around her.
On the weekends, Radiah settles in to a cosy session of giggling to the antics of beloved best friends, Will and Grace.

WELCOME: Amanina has been a corporate secretary since 2015 and is currently studying towards qualifying as a Chartered Secretary.
Going by the nickname Nina, she lives by Albert Einstein’s philosophy that learning and improving one’s self is an ongoing journey.
Nina looks to her mother for inspiration. Times when the day is kicking over, she recalls the hard work her mother went through to get her this far and uses it as a reminder of the strength in her genes.
On the weekends, this filial daughter uses her time to get through household chores with the Backstreet Boys crooning out to her. Nina takes particular pride in maintaining order and tidiness in her home – believing that a calm environment makes for a calm mind.

WELCOME: The Audit team welcomed Danielle Ho to Mari Jane’s team in March 2019.
Danielle, a star student during her academic years, has been looking forward to embarking on her career in audit.
“I look forward to making an impact that will benefit our community and the people around me.”
During her downtime, Danielle enjoys indulging in freshly-baked artisanal goods with a particular penchant for toasted sourdough bread. Equipped with the patience of a saint and mood-boosting carbs, it is pretty usual to catch her beaming a megawatt smile whilst churning out the paperwork.

INTERNSHIP: For a period of three months, Dishan, Chloe and Eizyan will be interning at the Helmi Talib Group.
Using this opportunity to learn on the job, these young men and women are eager to receive imparted knowledge and tips from our experienced team of professionals.

If you’re keen on an internship opportunity with us, drop us a line HERE