If you are working in Singapore, you probably need to pay tax. It is now being avidly discussed in our community where most people are scrambling to get things together.
Fret not! We designed this to be a really simple and essential guide for you to know what is most important for you.
TL;DR: All you need to know about personal income tax in Singapore
- Why: As you contribute to the economy, these are ways to help fund Government spending on common resources (e.g. Police, Defence, Social security etc.)
- Who: This is mandatory for all residents here in Singapore to file (Singaporean, PR or Foreigners) who work in Singapore
- What: You can check in on the rates table below, it’s a tiered system
- How: You can eFile it on myTax Portal or via paper filing
- When: eFiling by 18 April 2019 or via Paper filing by 15 April 2019
- Good news: For YA 2019, all tax residents will receive an income tax rebate of up to $200.
- Hacks: You can save on tax legally by various ways like Charity contributions, NSman deductions, CPF Top ups etc.
If you are keen to find out how much tax you will need to pay, you can use this Personal tax Calculator here.
Further Reading: Detailed information
In this section, we go deeper into the parts as described above.
Who is subjected to Income Tax
Generally, people in Singapore who are residents and who are deriving some form of:
- Employment (Salary or Bonuses)
- Trade, Business, Profession or Vocation
- Property or Investments
- Other Sources (e.g. annuities, royalties, winnings or estate or trust income)
You can refer to the full list of income tax table here
Tax Rebate for Tax Residents
For YA 2019, all tax residents will receive an income tax rebate of up to $200.
You will be treated as a tax resident for a particular YA if you are:
- A Singapore Citizen who normally resides in Singapore except for temporary absences
- A Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) who has established a permanent home in Singapore
- A foreigner who has stayed/worked in Singapore (excluding director of a company) for 183 days or more in the previous year, i.e. year before the YA.
Tax Reliefs Available for All Singapore’s Tax Residents
How can I reduce my taxable income (legally)?
|General Reliefs Available to ALL Taxpayers||Additional Reliefs Available to Married/ Divorced/ Widowed Taxpayers|
|-||Available to Male and Female Taxpayers||Available to Female Taxpayers|
|• Course Fees Relief|
• CPF Cash Top Up Relief*
• CPF Relief*
- CPF / Provident Fund Relief: For Employees Only,
- CPF/ Provident Fund Relief: For Self-Employed/ Employee who is also Self Employed
- CPF/ Provident Fund Relief: Compulsory and Voluntary Medisave Contribution
• Earned Income Relief
• Handicapped Brother/ Sister Relief
• Life Insurance Relief
• NSman (Self) Relief
• Parent/ Handicapped Parent Relief (For maintenance of parents, grandparents & great-grandparents, including in-laws)
• Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) Relief
*Applicable to Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) only.
|• NSman (Wife/Parent) Relief|
• Qualifying/ Handicapped Child Relief
• Spouse/ Handicapped Spouse Relief
|• Foreign Maid Levy Relief
• Grandparent Caregiver Relief
• Working Mother's Child Relief
Here is the full table of reliefs that one can actually apply for when filing.
Here are the more common ones:
- You are rewarded if you have kids, stay with your parents or serve the country (NS)
- You are also rewarded if you donate to approved charities by the government
- Lastly, and most interestingly you are rewarded if you top up your CPF account (i.e so that you plan for the future for retirement)
- This CPF category also includes the amount that you are forced to contribute monthly (i.e for Citizens and PRs) which should be around 20% of your monthly gross salary
What are the Tax rates?
As you can see, as you earn more, the more you get taxed. Which is kind of logical and pragmatic if you think about it… And a thing to note is that Singapore boasts one of the world’s lowest tiered tax rates for a country which is actually pretty high in standard of living. US Californian tax rates fall between 1 and 12.3% for your total taxable sum.
Singapore Income Tax Rates 2018/2019 for Residents
|Chargeable Income||Income Tax Rate (%)||Gross Tax Payable (S$)|
|First $20,000 |
|First $30,000 |
|First $40,000 |
|First $80,000 |
|First $120,000 |
|First $160,000 |
|First $200,000 |
|First $240,000 |
|First $280,000 |
|First $320,000 |
In excess of $320,000
You will be treated as a Tax Resident if you are a:
- Singaporean citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident residing in Singapore;
- A foreigner working or living in Singapore for more than 183 days (approx. 6 months) in the previous year
(This excludes director of a company, you will be taxed differently)
Tax Rates for Non-Residents
Taxes on Employment Income, Director’s fee, Consultation fees and All Other Income
|Type of Income||Non-resident individual tax rate /
withholding tax rate from YA 2017
|Income derived from activity as a non-resident professional |
(consultant, trainer, coach, etc.)
|15% of gross income or 22% of net income|
|Income derived from activity as a non-resident public entertainer |
(artiste, musician, sportsman, etc.)
|10% concessionary rate (No change)|
|Other income |
e.g. property rental income
|SRS withdrawal by a non-citizen SRS member||22%|
|Interest, royalty etc.||Reduced final withholding tax rate (subject to conditions) as follows:
22% if reduced final withholding tax rate is not applicable.
More details here.
Are my Investment Dividends taxable?
This is a very common question which we always get from our community that we discuss frequently.
Generally, the following dividends are not taxable:
- Dividends paid on or after 1 Jan 2008 by a Singapore resident company under the one-tier corporate tax system except co-operatives;
- Foreign dividends received in Singapore on or after 1 Jan 2004 by resident individuals. If an individual resident in Singapore receives foreign-sourced dividends through a partnership in Singapore, these dividends may be exempt from Singapore tax if certain conditions are met. For details, please refer to Tax Exemption for Foreign-Sourced Income;
- Income distribution from Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), except distributions derived by individuals through a partnership in Singapore, or from the carrying on of a trade, business or profession in REITs.
The following dividends are subject to income tax:
- Dividends paid by co-operatives;
- Foreign-sourced dividends derived by individuals through a partnership in Singapore. Conditions may apply. For more details, please refer to Tax Exemption for Foreign-Sourced Income;
- Income distribution from Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) derived by individuals through a partnership in Singapore, or from the carrying on of a trade, business or profession in REITs.
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