Personal income tax for non-residents in Singapore
A non-resident is defined as an individual who has stayed or worked in the city for fewer than 183 days. For individuals who have worked in Singapore for 60 days or less, their income is exempt from tax. This excludes company directors, public entertainers, and those exercising a profession (professionals include foreign experts, translators, consultants, trainers, coaches, queen’s consuls etc.). Those who have stayed or worked for 61-182 days are taxed on income earned in Singapore. Chargeable income for these individuals is their total income less expenses and donations but they are not eligible for personal reliefs. Income is taxed at either 15% or the progressive rate depending on which is higher. Separate to this, director and consultant fees and all other incomes are taxed at 22%.
Filing tax returns for personal incomes
All eligible tax payers must file a return by the 15th of April each year, penalties are imposed upon those who file past this date or fail to file altogether. Those who earn under S$20.000 a year are not required to file a return unless specifically requested by the tax authority. Even if you have not earned any income in previous years, you are required to declare zero income and file for a return. Returns can be filed online or by mail. During February and March, IRAS will send you either a B1, a B, or an M form depending on your tax resident status and whether or not you are self-employed.
Once you have filed, you will receive your Notice of Assessment by September. This is a tax bill which will indicate the amount of tax you are required to pay. It is possible to dispute your Notice of Assessment by notifying and stating your objections to IRAS within 30 days of the date of the notice.
Payment of taxes is required within 30 days of the date of the notice regardless of whether or not you have informed the authorities of your objection. A penalty is imposed for outstanding taxes after 30 days,
Taxing of overseas income
Typically, income earned overseas and received in Singapore is not taxed and does not need to be declared. This includes overseas income paid into an SG bank account. However, there are some instances in which income overseas is taxable including when it is received in Singapore through Singapore based partnerships, when overseas employment is incidental to your Singapore employment (i.e. you work in Singapore, but must travel internationally for your job), and when you are employed internationally by the Government of Singapore. In these circumstances, the income needs to be declared as ‘employment’ or ‘other’ income on your form.
Taxation of employer benefits
Unless they are exempt from income tax or subject to an administrative concession, all of your gains and profits earned as a result of employment are taxable. This includes all employee benefits financial or otherwise. Some examples include accommodation or housing allowance, a company car, medical or dental reimbursement costs for yourself or your dependants, overtime, per diem allowances for business trips, transport allowance, and meal allowances.
Capital gains, inheritance, and estate duty
Capital gains is investment income from real estate assets, financial assets, and intangible assets.
Inheritance tax (also known as estate duty) is a tax paid when you die out of your estate.
Singapore does not have either of these taxes.