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For companies

The productivity improvement activities covered under PIC are:

Businesses have to obtain prior approval from the DesignSingapore Council for their design projects. For the other five activities, approval is not required to claim the tax benefits under PIC.

Acquisition and Leasing of PIC IT and Automation Equipment

Brief Description of Qualifying Expenditure under PIC

Costs incurred to acquire or lease PIC IT and automation equipment.

PIC IT and automation equipment refers to:

  • IT and automation equipment that is prescribed by the Minister for the purposes of PIC.

    Please refer to the PIC IT and Automation Equipment List Revised!(232KB) for the prescribed list of IT and automation equipment qualifying for PIC.
  • Equipment which the Minister or the Comptroller of Income Tax has approved for PIC on a case-by-case basis.

Please see How PIC should be claimed if you have additional items bundled with the purchase or lease of PIC IT and automation equipment, receive cash discount or trade in an old asset, etc.

To understand how this works, do refer to our Worked Examples (40KB).  

New! From YA 2016, to qualify for cash payout on PIC IT and Automation equipment, businesses will need to show that the equipment is in use by the business at the point when they elect for cash payout. This condition reinforces the objective of encouraging businesses to increase their productivity by using automation equipment in their businesses. For businesses with genuine cash-flow difficulties and are not able to secure the delivery of the equipment before payment is made, IRAS may waive the requirement for the equipment to be “in use” on a case-by-case basis, subject to conditions.

Examples of Qualifying Expenditure * For lease payment of software, the lessee must be the end user having only the right to use the software and not the right to reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble the software, or exploit the copyright to the software.
Examples of Non-Qualifying Expenditure Cost or lease expenses of the following equipment (i.e. equipment not falling within the PIC IT and Automation Equipment List):
  • Air-conditioner
  • Motor vehicle
  • Motorcycle
  • Furniture and fittings
  • Renovation and refurbishment cost (e.g. cost paid to install office workstation)
  • Uninterrupted power supply (UPS)
  • Freezer/ chiller/ refrigerator
  • Refrigerated display.
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Training of Employees

Brief Description of Qualifying Expenditure under PIC Costs incurred# to provide training to employees for the purposes of the trade and business. Training refers to:
  • External training; and
  • In-house training accredited by Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) or approved/ certified by Institute of Technical Education (ITE). From YA 2012, if the training is not WDA-accredited or ITE-approved/ certified, a cap of $10,000 per YA applies.

Please see Worked Examples (38KB).

Please keep proper records and documents of your training expenditure to support your claims for PIC (refer to Q33 of FAQs)  

Examples of Qualifying Expenditure
  • External course fees for employees.
  • Costs incurred on internal Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) courses for employees' skills upgrading.
  • Training of prescribed agents/ representatives from YA 2012 (refer to Q47 of FAQs).
  • Training of individuals deployed under a centralised hiring arrangement from YA 2014 (refer to Q48 of FAQs).  
Examples of Non-Qualifying Expenditure
  • Course fees on training attended by business owners. 
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Acquisition and In-licensing of Intellectual Property Rights

Brief Description of Qualifying Expenditure under PIC
  • Costs incurred# to acquire IPRs for use in a trade or business (exclude EDB approved IPRs and IPRs relating to media and digital entertainment contents).
  • Costs incurred on IPR in-licensing from YA 2013 (refer to Q9 to Q15 of FAQs).
Examples of Qualifying Expenditure
  • Payment to buy a patented technology for use in manufacturing process.
  • Price paid for copyright.
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Registration of Patents, Trademarks, Designs and Plant Varieties

Brief Description of Qualifying Expenditure under PIC Costs incurred# to register patents, trademarks, designs and plant varieties.

For information on Plant Varieties Protection, please refer to the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) website.
Example of Qualifying Expenditure Fees paid to IPOS to register trademark.
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Research and Development Activities

Brief Description of Qualifying Expenditure under PIC Costs incurred# on staff costs and consumables for qualifying R&D activities carried out in Singapore or overseas.
Examples of Qualifying Expenditure
  • Salaries for R&D personnel and fees to R&D institute for creating a novel product.
  • R&D cost sharing from YA 2012 (refer to Q23 of FAQs).
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Design Projects Approved by DesignSingapore Council

Brief Description of Qualifying Expenditure under PIC Costs incurred# to create new products or industrial designs where the activities are primarily done in Singapore.

More details can be found on the DesignSingapore Council website.
Example of Qualifying Expenditure Fees to engage in-house eligible designers or outsourced to eligible design service providers to carry out approved design activities.
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New!  # An expense is incurred when the legal liability to pay has arisen, regardless of the date of actual payment of the money.  For more information and examples of when an expense is considered incurred, please refer to Examples of when an expenditure is considered incurred (101KB).

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Businesses should check that an expense qualifies for PIC before making a claim. Find out more about the Common Mistakes to Avoid.



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Last Updated on 11 December 2014

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