Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs)

A DTA is an agreement concluded between Singapore and another jurisdiction (a treaty partner) which serves to relieve double taxation of income that is earned in one jurisdiction by a resident of the other jurisdiction.

Purpose of DTAs

A DTA spells out the taxing rights between Singapore and her treaty partner on the different types of income arising from cross-border economic activities between the two jurisdictions.

The DTA also provides for reduction or exemption of tax on certain types of income.

Only Singapore tax residents and tax residents of the treaty partner can enjoy the benefits of a DTA. To find out who are our treaty partners, please refer to the List of Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements.

Singapore Tax Residents

When your company earns foreign income from a treaty partner, you may wish to claim the benefits under the DTA that entitles a company not to pay tax or to pay tax at a reduced rate in the foreign jurisdiction.

Certificate of Residence (COR)

To enjoy this benefit, you would need to submit a COR to the foreign jurisdiction to prove that the company is a Singapore tax resident. To find out more about the application process, please refer to Applying for COR/ Tax Reclaim Form.

Double Tax Relief (DTR)

When you receive foreign income in Singapore, you may be taxed on the income. In the case where the benefit under the DTA is not an exemption of tax, but a reduction of tax rate, the Singapore company will also suffer tax in the foreign jurisdiction.

In this way, the same income is subjected to taxation twice. The DTA provides relief for this double taxation by allowing the Singapore company to claim a credit of the foreign tax suffered against its Singapore tax payable on the same income.

This credit is known as a DTR. To find out more about this relief, please refer to Foreign Tax Credit.

Tax Resident of our Treaty Partners

Tax residents of our treaty partners can also enjoy the benefits of the DTAs when they derive income from Singapore.

To claim this benefit, they have to prove that they are a tax resident of the treaty partner by submitting to IRAS, a completed Certificate of Residence from Non-Residents (Claim for relief from Singapore Income Tax Under Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement) that is duly certified by the tax authority of their country of residence.

For the specimen format of a Certificate of Residence from Non-Resident claim for relief, please refer to Claiming Of Tax Relief/Exemption under the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (DTA).