Guide for Taxpayers (Foreigners)

Living and working in Singapore has many benefits. Besides pampering yourself with the best place in Asia to live, work and play, you also get to enjoy the other great nations of South-east Asia which are not more than two-hours flight away from Singapore’s world-class Changi airport.

However, the foremost attraction for foreigners wishing to relocate to the city-state – the country offers people-friendly tax policies.

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), Singapore’s tax regulator, treats non-Singaporeans and non-Singapore Permanent Residents as foreigners for tax purposes.

The Singapore tax rate in which a foreigner pays depends on the tax-residency status, with the cut-off periods being 60 days and 183 days.

You are regarded as a tax resident if:

Period of Stay (inclusive of work) in Singapore Tax Residency Status Tax Implications
At least 183 days in a year Tax resident for that year Income is taxed at progressive resident rates.
You may claim tax reliefs.
At least 183 days for a continuous period over two years and the employment period must straddle two calendar years Tax resident for both years Income is taxed at progressive resident rates.
You may claim tax reliefs.
Three consecutive years Tax resident for all three years Income is taxed at progressive resident rates.
You may claim tax reliefs.

You will be regarded as a non-resident of Singapore for tax purposes if:

  Tax Residency Status Tax Implications
If you are here for 61 to 182 days Non-Resident Your employment income is taxed at 15% or progressive resident rates, whichever gives rise to a higher tax amount.
Director’s fees and other income are taxed at the prevailing rate of 20% (22% from the Year of Assessment 2017).
You are not entitled to tax reliefs.
If you are employed for 60 days or less Non-Resident

Your short-term employment income is exempt from tax.
This rule does not apply if:

  • You are a director of a company , a public entertainer or a professional in Singapore; or
  • Your absences from Singapore are incidental to your Singapore employment. In this case, your total income (including income for services rendered outside Singapore) is taxable in full in Singapore.

Director’s fees and other income are taxed at the prevailing rate of 20% (22% from the Year of Assessment 2017). You are not entitled to tax reliefs

Residents and Non-Residents Tax Rates
Tax residents are taxed at progressive tax rates.

Non-residents are taxed at the flat rate of 15% or the resident rates whichever results in a higher tax amount on your employment income. Director’s fees and other income are taxed at the prevailing rate of 20% (22% from the Year of Assessment 2017). Non-residents are not entitled to tax reliefs.

Filing Taxes
IRAS mandates that all tax returns must be filed (with completed paper tax form) by April 15 every year.

What is taxable and what is not
Besides salaries and bonuses, employment benefits such as housing and stock options will also form part of your taxable employment income .

Overseas income derived outside Singapore, Singapore dividends and bank interest are tax exempt in Singapore.

Any rent payments you receive when you rent out your property in Singapore are subject to income tax and must be declared in your income tax return.

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