Singapore's Budget for 2008 - for an innovative economy and superior prospects for growth

The tax changes in Singapore's Budget for 2008 are designed to spur economic growth, particularly in the area of innovation. After some introductory remarks, the article discusses the measures designed to enhance business competitiveness, including the changes affecting the corporate tax rate, the personal income tax, the unilateral foreign tax credit, the "not ordinarily resident" and supplementary retirement schemes, and the exemption for start-up companies. The article then looks at the changes aimed at making innovation pervasive: the measures to promote R&D activities (e.g. new R&D tax allowance and R&D incentive for start-ups) and the measures affecting financial services (e.g. Islamic finance, asset securitization, family-owned investment holding companies and offshore insurance business). The article also discusses the abolition of the estate duty in Singapore.