How to prepare for an IRAS audit

As a business owner in Singapore, you may be subject to an audit by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). An IRAS audit is an examination of your financial records and tax returns to ensure compliance with the tax laws and regulations. If you receive a notice of an impending audit, it’s important to prepare adequately to avoid unnecessary penalties and fines. Here’s how to prepare for an IRAS audit:

Understand the Purpose of the Audit

The first step in preparing for an IRAS audit is to understand its purpose. The audit is intended to ensure that your financial records and tax returns are accurate and complete, and that you’ve paid the correct amount of taxes. IRAS auditors may request access to your accounting records, bank statements, invoices, receipts, and other documents to verify your compliance with tax laws.

Review Your Records

Before the audit, review your accounting records to ensure that they are accurate and up to date. Check that all income and expenses are properly recorded, and that all taxes are properly calculated and paid. Make sure that all invoices and receipts are properly categorized and that you have supporting documents for any deductions or exemptions.

For example, if your business claims tax exemptions for certain expenses, such as business travel or entertainment, ensure that you have all the necessary receipts and documentation to support those claims.

Keep Good Records

During the audit, the IRAS auditor may ask for specific documents to support your claims. Therefore, it’s important to keep all relevant documents, including invoices, receipts, and bank statements, organized and easily accessible.

Consider using accounting software to keep track of your financial records, which can help streamline the audit process and ensure that your records are accurate and up to date.

Respond Promptly

If you receive a notice of an IRAS audit, respond promptly and provide the auditor with all requested documents. Delaying the audit or providing incomplete or inaccurate information may result in penalties and fines.

Seek Professional Advice

If you’re unsure about how to prepare for an IRAS audit, consider seeking professional advice from a tax accountant or lawyer. They can help you understand your tax obligations and assist you in preparing for the audit.

In conclusion, an IRAS audit is a serious matter for business owners in Singapore. By understanding the purpose of the audit, reviewing your records, keeping good records, responding promptly, and seeking professional advice, you can prepare adequately for an IRAS audit and minimize the risk of penalties and fines.

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