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Guide to Personal Income Taxes in Singapore

Guide to Personal Income Taxes in Singapore

NOTE: This page describes personal tax rates and benefits that are currently in effect. For information on new tax benefits announced in 2008 budget speech, refer to Tax Cuts & Reliefs announced in 2008 Budget.

Individuals are either "resident" or "non-resident" in Singapore for tax purposes. Generally, a person is resident if he or she is physically present or exercises employment in Singapore for 183 days or more in the calendar year.

For individuals, all income derived from Singapore is liable to tax. With effect from 1 January 2004, all overseas income remitted by individuals in Singapore is not taxable, except for overseas income received in Singapore through partnerships in Singapore. Personal income is taxable at progressive rates from 0% to 20% and entitled to claim certain personal reliefs.

Current Personal Income Tax Rates in Singapore

Personal Income Income Tax Rate
<20,000 0
20,000 - 30,000 3.5%
30,000 - 40,000 5.5%
40,000 - 80,000 8.5%
80,000 - 160,000 14%
160,000 - 320,000 17%
320,000+ 20%

Non-resident individuals are taxed at a flat rate of 15%.

Interest derived by a non-resident individual on monies held on deposits in an approved bank in Singapore is tax exempt.

Husband and wife in Singapore are generally treated as one taxpayer, although the wife may elect to be separately assessed on her personal income.

Regional representatives based in Singapore and employed by the representative office of an overseas company may be taxed concessionally on income pro-rated based on days spent in Singapore provided certain requirements are met.

Taxation for Foreigners Working in Singapore

Foreign employees working in Singapore either on work permit or employment pass will be taxed as above in Singapore unless:

  • The person is on short-term employment no exceeding 60 days in a calendar year
  • his/her earnings are exempt from tax under the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement

As a tax resident, you will be taxed on all personal income derived in Singapore and any overseas income which is brought into Singapore.

When a foreign employee stops his term of employment in Singapore, his employer is required to inform IRAS before the termination of employment or departure from Singapore. The employer shall also withhold whatever money due to the employee until tax clearance is given.

Fringe Benefits

Employer-provided fringe benefits are taxed in the employee’s hands. As a number of benefits are taxed on a concessionary basis (e.g. housing) in Singapore, it is possible to reduce an individual’s tax liability through appropriate structuring of his/her remuneration package.

Central Provident Fund (CPF)

Foreigners on Employment Pass, Professional Visit Pass or Work Permit are exempt from CPF contributions in Singapore.

Double Taxation

Double taxation can be avoided or minimized by unilateral tax credits and double tax treaties, depending on the type of foreign source income and the source country. Only Singapore resident companies and individuals are entitled to claim such tax credits.

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