The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) assesses, collects and enforces payment of taxes. The IRAS also advises the government and represents Singapore internationally on matters relating to taxation. The IRAS’ processes are very straightforward, and online guides are especially helpful.
Anyone earning money in Singapore is liable to pay Singapore income tax, depending on the amount earned. If you stay and work in Singapore for 183 days or more, you are considered a “tax resident”. Under the two-year administrative concession, foreigners are regarded as tax residents for two years if they stay or work in Singapore for a continuous period of at least 183 days. Tax residents’ locally earned and foreign income is taxed at prevailing progressive rates, and they are eligible for exemptions.
If you are employed for 60 days or less in a year, you will be regarded as a non-resident. Your employment income is exempt from tax if you are here on short-term employment, but this exemption does not apply if you are a director of a company, a public entertainer, or exercising a “profession” in Singapore. Professionals include foreign experts, foreign speakers, consultants, trainers, coaches, etc.
If you are in Singapore for 61 – 182 days, you will be regarded as a non-resident and will only be taxed on income earned in Singapore. You will not be entitled to tax reliefs, and your employment income will be taxed at a flat rate of 15% or the progressive resident rates, depending on which results in a higher tax. You are required to fill in IRAS’ Form M, the Income Tax Return for Non-Residents.
If your employer furnishes your salary details to IRAS directly, IRAS will send you a Form B1 (Form B if you are self-employed) via mail or directly to your company soon after the new year. Otherwise, your employer should provide a copy of your Form IR8A, including your salary information, which you will use to file your taxes.
You will need to file if you have received a paper Form B1/B or a letter from IRAS inviting you to e-File. Even if you have not received any notification from IRAS to e-File, you need to file if your income for the previous year is $20,000 or more. If you meet this criteria but do not receive notification to pay taxes from IRAS, contact IRAS via their helpline at 1800 356 8300 or via their website.
- Foreigners who are working in Singapore on a Employment Pass will be taxed regardless of the time spent working here.
- Foreigners who have rental income from a property in Singapore or receive director’s fees will be taxed at 20 percent of the respective income.
- Foreigners whose main country of residence has an Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement with Singapore are exempt from income tax for their employment income. (Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam)
The tax calendar starts on midnight 1st January and ends on midnight 31st December. Taxes are due on April 15 of the following year. You must e-File via the IRAS website or submit your completed paper form to IRAS by 15 April each year. If you cannot submit your form by 15 April, you must apply for an extension before 31 March. If you fail to submit your return by 15th April or to pay your taxes within the specified due date, you will be penalized.
Reliefs and Rebates
As a tax resident, a person is taxed on all income earned in Singapore including overseas income which is transmitted, remitted or otherwise brought into Singapore. There are personal reliefs given under the Income Tax Act. Tax reliefs and rebates are given in recognition of a person’s efforts. Instead of compensating for certain type of expenses fully, reliefs and rebates are given to promote certain social objectives. There are reliefs available to encourage family formation, training and National Service.
Filing Your Income Tax
The simplest and fastest way to file your taxes is via IRAS’ user-friendly online tax portal, myTaxPortal, using your SingPass ID (an id used for all online government transactions) or information sent in your tax letter. You can also submit a paper return by post.
To get a SingPass ID, you can apply online at http://www.singpass.gov.sg or at a counter location with your passport and Ministry of Manpower or Immigration pass. Counter locations are also available at the SingPass website.
Your chargeable income is the amount remaining after deducting from your assessable income the personal reliefs to which you are entitled. If you are a resident in Singapore, the rates of tax chargeable in 2014 are as follows:
|Chargeable Income||Rate (%)||Gross Tax Payable ($)|
Next $ 40,000
Next $ 40,000