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Learn more about Personal Income Tax in Singapore

In Singapore, personal income tax is levied in a progressive manner. Learn which sorts of income are taxed and how the income tax affects you as a resident versus a non-resident. Singapore has one of the world’s lowest personal income tax rates. To calculate an individual’s Singapore income tax due, first identify the tax residency and quantity of chargeable income, and then apply the progressive resident tax rate to it. Individual Singapore income tax highlights include a progressive resident tax rate that starts at 0% and rises to 22% above S$320,000. Individuals are only taxed on income earned in Singapore. With a few exceptions, income received by persons while working abroad is not subject to taxation.

Table of contents


What are the personal income tax rates?

Individuals residing in Singapore are subject to a progressive resident tax rate, which is detailed below. If your annual income is S$20,000 or over, you must file a personal tax return. If your annual income is less than S$20,000, you do not have to pay tax. However, if the Singapore tax authorities has notified you that you must file a tax return, you may still be required to do so. It should be noted that further earned income relief is available to further lower the tax payable based on age.

1. Resident Tax Rates

Chargeable Income Rate (%) Gross Tax Payable (SG$)
On the first 20,000
On the next 10,000
0
2
0
200
On the first 30,000
On the next 10,000
-
3.50
200
350
On the first 40,000
On the next 40,000
-
7
550
2,800
On the first 80,000
On the next 40,000
-
11.50
3,350
4,600
On the first 120,000
On the next 40,000
-
15
7,950
6,000
On the first 160,000
On the next 40,000
-
18
13,950
7,200
On the first 200,000
On the next 40,000
-
19
21,150
7,600
On the first 240,000
On the next 40,000
-
19,50
28,750
7,800
On the first 280,000
On the next 40,000
-
20
36,550
8,000
On the first 320,000
In excess of 320,000
-
22
44,550

2. Non-resident Tax Rates

Type of Income Non-resident individual tax rate / withholding tax rate from YA 2017
➤ Director's remuneration 22%
➤ Income derived from activity as a non-resident professional (consultant, trainer, coach, etc.) 15% of gross income or
22% of net income
10% concessionary rate (No change)
➤ Other income e.g. rental income derived from a Singapore property 22%
➤ SRS withdrawal by a non-citizen SRS member 22%
➤ Interest, royalty etc. Reduced final withholding tax rate (subject to conditions) as follows:
➤ Interest: 15%
➤ Royalty: 10%
or 22% if reduced final withholding tax rate is not applicable.
➤ Pension 22%

How to calculate personal tax for Singapore residents?

Tax residents pay taxes on their chargeable income in accordance with the table of resident tax rates shown above. For tax residents, chargeable income (i.e. income subject to taxation) is calculated as follows:

Total income:

➤ Gains or earnings derived through the operation of any business, trade, profession, or vocation, whether as a lone proprietor or as a partner in a partnership.
➤ Profits or gains from any occupation.
➤ Dividends, interest, and investment earnings.
➤ Rents, royalties, premiums, and other income derived from real estate
➤ Exclude eligible income obtained outside of the United States (more details provided later in the guide).

Expenses:

➤ Employment-related expenses that qualify.
➤ Rental-related costs that qualify.

Donations:

➤ Contributions to approved charity organizations Personal Reliefs involves.
➤ Personal tax breaks, such as qualified course fees, earned income tax breaks, parent tax breaks, and so on.
➤ This adjusted income after deductions from total income is referred to as chargeable income.

How to calculate personal tax for Singapore non-residents?

If you are a foreigner who resided or worked in Singapore for less than 183 days during the fiscal year, you are considered a non-resident for tax purposes. You will be taxed as a non-resident in the following ways:

If you are here on a short-term basis for 60 days or less in a year, your employment income is tax-free. This exemption does not apply if you are a corporate director, a public entertainer, or practice a profession in Singapore. Foreign specialists, foreign speakers, queen’s counsels, consultants, trainers, and coaches are examples of professionals.

If you spend 61-182 days a year in Singapore, you will be taxed on any income made there. You can deduct your costs and charitable contributions to reduce your tax liability. Personal reliefs, on the other hand, are not available to you. Your employment income is taxed at the higher of 15% or the progressive resident tax rate (see rate table above), whichever is greater.

How to file personal income tax returns?

Filing your tax return is a yearly requirement for all eligible taxpayers. All completed paperwork must be submitted to the Singapore tax department by April 15th.

If your annual income is less than S$22,000 (applicable exclusively to tax residents), you do not have to pay tax. However, if the tax authority has advised you that you must submit your tax form, you may still be required to file returns. Even if you had no income in past years, you must still claim zero income on your tax form and submit it by 15 April (paper) or 18 April (online) (e-filing). If your annual income is S$22,000 or higher, you must file tax returns.

You have the option of filing your returns online or by mail. IRAS will give you the relevant paper tax form; upon request, the online form will be available beginning March 1st of each year.

➤ Form B1 is for tax-resident persons.
➤ Form B is for self-employed individuals.
➤ Form M is for non-resident individuals.

You will face penalties if you file late or do not file at all. IRAS may also take legal action against the individual for failure to file a tax return or failure to pay taxes.

From May through September, after you have filed your taxes, you will get your Notice of Assessment or tax bill. The amount of tax you must pay will be shown on your tax bill. If you disagree with the amount of your tax, you must notify the Singapore tax authority within 30 days of the date of your tax bill, stating your reasons for complaint.

You must pay the whole tax amount within 30 days of receiving your Notice of Assessment. This is true whether or not you have informed the tax authorities of your complaint. Penalties will be assessed if your tax is not paid within 30 days.

What is the tax treatment of income earned overseas?

Overseas income received in Singapore on or after January 1, 2004 is generally not taxable. This includes foreign earnings deposited into a Singapore bank account. You do not have to report non-taxable foreign income.

However, there are some conditions in which offshore income is taxable:

➤ It is received in Singapore through Singaporean partnerships.
➤ Your abroad work is unrelated to your Singapore work. That is, as part of your job here, you must travel internationally.
➤ You work on behalf of the Singapore Government outside of Singapore.
➤ You must record eligible taxable foreign income on your tax return under 'employment income' and 'other income' (whichever is relevant).

What is the tax treatment of employer benefits?

Unless specifically exempt from income tax or covered by an existing administrative concession, all gains and profits obtained by you in connection with your job are taxable. All advantages, whether monetary or otherwise, received or provided to you in connection with your work are included in your gains or profits. Examples of taxable perks provided by your employer include:

➤ Employer-provided car
➤ Reimbursement for medical and dental treatments for dependents other than yourself, your spouse, and children
➤ Overtime payments
➤ Per diem allowances (daily stipend granted to employees on out-of-Singapore business travels), providing the amount exceeds permissible rates
➤ Fixed monthly transportation payment or reimbursement for mileage on private cars
➤ Fixed monthly meal allowance
➤ Fixed monthly meal allowance

However, some non-cash advantages (for example, accommodations) are taxed using unique formulas, resulting in lower taxation on these benefits-in-kind. As a result, a correctly structured remuneration package for executives (i.e. salary plus perks in kind) might help lower their individual tax burden in Singapore. More information about this is outside the scope of this tutorial.

What are capital gains tax, inheritance tax and estate duty?

Capital gains may refer to “investment income” derived from real assets such as property, financial assets such as stocks or bonds, or intangible assets such as goodwill. Singapore does not levy capital gains taxes.

Inheritance tax is a tax that you must pay after you die, and it is deducted from the financial estate that you leave behind. It is generally referred to as Estate Duty in Singapore. Singapore’s estate duty has been repealed with effect from 2008.

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