Background and FAQs

 

Tax Refund

Distributions made by real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) listed on Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited to individuals, whether foreign or local, is tax exempt. In this respect, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (“IRAS”) has confirmed that all individuals (excluding individuals who derive any distribution through a partnership in Singapore or from the carrying on of a trade, business or profession) will receive their distributions from OUE Commercial REIT without tax being deducted at source (“gross distributions”).

Individuals who derive distributions through a partnership in Singapore or from the carrying on of a trade, business or profession are not eligible for this tax exemption and are required to declare the distributions in their income tax returns, notwithstanding that gross distributions have been made to them.

In addition, REITs’ distributions to qualifying foreign non-individual investors are entitled to a reduced rate of tax of 10% for distributions made during the period from 18 February 2005 to 31 March 2020.

The Manager of OUE Commercial REIT has established an arrangement to allow eligible Unitholders to claim a back-end refund of tax, if any, over-deducted from income distributions made to them from the IRAS.

FAQs

BACK-END REFUND FOR INCOME DISTRIBUTION

1. Who can claim the tax over-deducted through the back-end refund process?
2. Who are foreign non-individuals?
3. What do I need to submit in order to claim the tax withheld?
4. Where can I get the back-end refund tax declaration form?
5. When do I submit Form R1 or R2?
6. Is the identification number required on the declaration form for back-end refunds?
7. Will I get a refund if I do not submit my SITC or ADS?
8. How often is the back-end-refund process?
9. Will the REIT manager issue an amended tax certificate for the refund?
10. How soon will I receive the tax refund?

1. Who can claim the tax over-deducted through the back-end refund process?
The back-end refund process is meant for the refund of tax which had been previously withheld at the prevailing corporate tax rate from the distributions to the following beneficial Unitholders:

  • Individuals holding OUE Commercial REIT units through a Depository Agent and have received distributions after tax deduction at prevailing corporate tax rate instead of at gross; or
  • Foreign non-individuals holding OUE Commercial REIT units through a Depository Agent or in their own name and have received distributions after tax deduction at prevailing corporate tax rate instead of 10%. The 10% tax rate is applicable only in respect of distributions made during the period from 1 September 2014 to 31 March 2020.

For other categories of beneficial Unitholders, they will need to claim a refund of the tax over-deducted, if any, when filing their tax return.

2. Who are foreign non-individuals?
Foreign non-individuals refer to persons (other than individuals) who are not residents of Singapore for income tax purposes and:

  • Who do not have a permanent establishment in Singapore; or
  • Who carry on any operation in Singapore through a permanent establishment in Singapore, but the funds used to acquire the units in OUE Commercial REIT are not obtained from that operation.

3. What do I need to submit in order to claim the tax withheld?

  • If you are a foreign non-individual holding OUE Commercial REIT units in your own name:
    • Download and complete Form R1. Please use a separate Form R1 for each income distribution period.
    • Submit the duly completed Form R1, accompanied by the original Subsidiary Income Tax Certificate ("SITC") or Annual Distribution Statements ("ADS") issued by The Central Depository (Pte) Ltd for the distribution in respect of which the claim for refund is made to the Unit Registrar, Boardroom Corporate & Advisory Services Pte. Ltd. at 50 Raffles Place #32-01 Singapore Land Tower Singapore 048623.
  • If you are an individual or a foreign non-individual and you hold OUE Commercial REIT units through Depository Agents, please liaise with your Depository Agent on your claim for refund. The claim will be made on your behalf by your Depository Agent.
  • If you are a Depository Agent and wish to claim for refund on behalf of beneficial unit owners who are individuals or foreign non-individuals:
    • Download and complete Form R2, including Annexes 1 and 2. Please use a separate Form R2 for each income distribution period.
    • Submit the duly completed Form R2, accompanied by the original SITC for the distribution in respect of which the claim for refund is made to the Unit Registrar, Boardroom Corporate & Advisory Services Pte. Ltd. at 50 Raffles Place #32-01 Singapore Land Tower Singapore 048623.
    • Please email a soft copy of the completed Annexes to Boardroom Corporate & Advisory Services Pte. Ltd. at Jolene.Ting@boardroomlimited.com.

4. Where can I get the back-end refund tax declaration form?
The back-end refund tax declaration form can be downloaded as follows:

  • If you are a Foreign Non-Individual holding OUE Commercial REIT units in your own name, click here for Form R1.
  • If you are an Individual or a Foreign Non-Individual holding OUE Commercial REIT units through Depository Agents, please liaise with your respective Depository Agent on your claim for the tax refund. The claim will be made on your behalf by your Depository Agent.
  • If you are a Depository Agent and wish to claim for the tax refund on behalf of beneficial owners who are Individuals or Foreign Non-Individuals, click here for Form R2. The forms may also be downloaded from www.ouect.com/download-forms.

5. When do I submit Form R1 or R2?
You may submit Form R1 and R2 with the accompanying SITCs or ADS at any time. The Trustee and Manager of OUE Commercial REIT (the “Manager”) will process the claim for refund from IRAS on a half yearly basis. Please use a separate form for each income distribution period.

6. Is the identification number required on the declaration form for back-end refunds?
Identification number such as Singapore NRIC number, passport number or foreign identification number is required for individuals who hold their units through Depository Agents.

7. Will I get a refund if I do not submit my SITC or ADS?
The Manager will not process the refund if the SITC or ADS is not submitted.

8. How often is the back-end refund process?
The Manager will be processing the back-end refund twice a year on 30 June and 31 December but reserves the right to end the half-yearly back-end process if it is deemed to be no longer necessary with advance notice.

You will have to return the completed declaration form to the Unit Registrar, Boardroom Corporate & Advisory Services Pte. Ltd., 15 days before the time limit stipulated above for each back-end refund process. If the stipulated dates happen to fall on a weekend or public holiday, the deadline will be the next working day.

9. Will the Manager issue an amended tax certificate for the refund?
The Manager will issue a letter together with the cheque for the refund amount to the Depository Agents and Unitholders who hold the units directly. This letter will serve as evidence that the tax refunds have been made.

10. How soon will I receive the tax refund?
The tax refund will be paid to the Depository Agents and Unitholders as soon as practicable after the receipt of the tax refund from the IRAS by the Trustee of OUE Commercial REIT.