What is the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (DTA)?
The Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) is an agreement signed between Singapore and another country that serves to relieve double taxation of income earned in one country by a resident of the other country. A treaty country refers to a country that has signed a DTA with Singapore.
The DTA states the taxing rights between Singapore and her treaty partner on different types of income arising from cross-border economic activities between the two countries. It also provides for tax reduction or exemption on certain types of income.
Only the tax residents of Singapore and the respective treaty country can enjoy the benefits of a DTA.
If you are a tax resident of a treaty country
If you are a tax resident of a foreign country that has concluded a tax treaty with Singapore, you may be protected from being taxed twice on the same income in Singapore.
Depending on the provisions of the DTA, you may claim the benefits of an exemption from the tax on income for personal services, teachers, researchers, artistes, athletes, students, trainees, etc.
As the provisions for each DTA may be different, you need to refer to each tax treaty for the specific provisions applicable to you. For example, when you are a non-resident in Singapore, you may want to consider the tax treaty if you have stayed in Singapore for not more than 183 days and the income earned during the period you worked in Singapore was not borne by an employer in Singapore or permanent establishment that the overseas employer has in Singapore.
Please use our Tax Treaty Calculator for Personal Services Rendered by Employees (213KB) to check if you are eligible for tax treaty exemption. If you are eligible for tax treaty exemption, you should complete and submit the Claim for Tax Treaty Exemption and Certificate of Residence to IRAS.
If you are a Singapore tax resident
When you earn foreign income from a treaty country, you may be subject to tax in that foreign country. However, you may wish to claim the DTA benefits that entitle a Singapore tax resident to enjoy a reduced tax rate or a tax exemption in that foreign country.
To enjoy this benefit, you need to submit the Certificate of Residency (COR) to the foreign tax authority to prove that you are a Singapore tax resident.
How do I apply for a Certificate of Residency?
Complete the Application for Certificate of Residency (For Individual Tax Residents only) (46KB) and submit to IRAS by post or fax. This Certificate of Residency is a letter certifying that you are a tax resident in Singapore for the purpose of claiming benefits under the DTA.