Individuals (Foreigners) Required to Pay Tax

Your tax liability will depend on your tax residency status.

 

Obligation to Pay Tax

Your tax liability will depend on your tax residency status. For example, if you are issued with a work pass that is valid for at least one year, you will be treated as a tax resident upfront.

You will be regarded as a tax resident if you stay or work in Singapore:

  1. For at least 183 days in a calendar year; or
  2. For at least 183 days for a continuous period over two years (applies to foreign employees who have entered Singapore from 1 Jan 2007 but excludes directors of a company, public entertainers or professionals); or
  3. Continuously for three consecutive years.

You tax residency status will be reviewed at the point of tax clearance when you cease your employment based on the tax residency rules. If your stay in Singapore is less than 183 days, you will be regarded as a non-resident.

   
   

The number of days of employment in Singapore includes weekends and public holidays. Any absences from Singapore that are temporary (e.g. overseas vacation leave) or incidental to your employment (e.g. business trips) are still counted in the total days of employment for the purpose of determining your tax residency status.

 

Tax Residents (183 Days or More)

As a tax resident:

  1. You will be taxed on all income earned in Singapore and any foreign-sourced income that was brought into Singapore prior to 1 Jan 2004.
  2. Your income, after deduction of tax reliefs, will be taxed at progressive resident rates.
  3. Your foreign-sourced income (with the exception of those received through partnerships in Singapore) brought into Singapore on or after 1 Jan 2004 is tax exempt.

When filing income tax, please fill in Form B1 (Income Tax Return for Residents).

Tax Implications at a Glance

 Period of Stay (Inclusive of Work) in Singapore Tax Residency Status Tax Implications
 At least 183 days in a year Tax resident for that year                 

Income is taxed at progressive resident rates.

You may claim tax reliefs

 At least 183 days for a continuous period straddling two years Tax resident for both years

Income is taxed at progressive resident rates.

You may claim tax reliefs.

 Three consecutive years Tax resident for all three years

 Income is taxed at progressive resident rates.

You may claim tax reliefs.

 

If You Are in Singapore for At Least 183 Days in a Year

 

   
   

You have stayed or worked in Singapore from 1 Apr 2016 to 3 Oct 2016 (186 days). You will be regarded as a tax resident for the Year of Assessment (YA) 2017.

Year of Assessment  Period of Stay (Inclusive of Work) in Singapore Tax Residency Status
 2017 1 Apr 2016 to 3 Oct 2016 (186 days) Tax Resident

 

If You Are in Singapore for At Least 183 Days over Two Years

If you stay or work in Singapore for a continuous period of at least 183 days straddling two years , you will be regarded as a tax resident for the two years under the two-year administrative concession.

This concession applies to foreign employees (excludes directors of a company, public entertainers or professionals) who have entered Singapore from 1 Jan 2007. 

   
   

You have stayed or worked in Singapore from 3 Nov 2015 to 7 May 2016 (187 days). You will be regarded as a tax resident for YAs 2016 and 2017

Year of Assessment  Period of Stay (Inclusive of Work) in Singapore Tax Residency Status
 2016 3 Nov 2015 to 31 Dec 2015 (59 days)Tax Resident
 2017 1 Jan 2016 to 7 May 2016 (128 days)Tax Resident
 Total Number of Days in Singapore: 187 days  

 

If You Are in Singapore for Three Consecutive Years

If you stay or work in Singapore continuously for three consecutive years, you will be regarded as a tax resident for all the three years under the three-year administrative concession. This applies even if you are in Singapore for less than 183 days in the first and third year.

  Example 3: Stayed or Worked in Singapore from 3 Nov 2014 to 7 May 2016       

You have stayed or worked in Singapore from 3 Nov 2014 to 7 May 2016. You will be regarded as a tax resident for YAs 2015 to 2017.

 Year of Assessment Period of Stay (Inclusive of Work) in SingaporeTax Residency Status
 2015 3 Nov 2014 to 31 Dec 2014 (59 days) Tax Resident
 2016 1 Jan 2015 to 31 Dec 2015 (365 days) Tax Resident
 2017 1 Jan 2016 to 7 May 2016 (128 days) Tax Resident

Non-Residents (Less than 183 Days)

As a non-resident:

  1. You will only be taxed on all income earned in Singapore.
  2. You will not be entitled to tax reliefs.
  3. Your employment income will be taxed at a flat rate of 15% or the progressive resident rates, whichever results in a higher tax amount.
  4. Director's fees and other income such as rent earned in or derived from Singapore will be taxed at the prevailing rate of 22% (20% prior to Year of Assessment 2017).

When filing income tax, please fill in Form M (Income Tax Return for Non-Residents).

   
   

If you are a non-resident and exercised employment in Singapore for 60 days or less in a year, your short-term employment income is exempt from tax. This rule does not apply if you are a director of a company, a public entertainer or a professional in Singapore. Professionals include foreign experts, foreign speakers, queen's counsels, consultants, trainers, coaches, etc.

 
   
   

The number of days of employment in Singapore includes weekends and public holidays. Any absences from Singapore that are temporary (e.g. overseas vacation leave) or incidental to your employment (e.g. business trips) are still counted in the total days of employment for the purpose of determining your tax residency status.

Employees Travelling into Singapore for Business Purpose
If you are based outside Singapore and travel into Singapore for business purpose, please refer to Travelling into Singapore for Business Purpose for information on the number of days of employment in Singapore and and revised tax treatment for amounts received by employees travelling into Singapore on or after 1 Jan 2016 for Business Purpose.

Tax Implications at a Glance (Employed for 60 Days or Less in a Year)

 

Tax Residency Status     Tax Implications
 Non-Resident                                                       

 Your short-term employment is exempt from tax.

This rule does not apply if:

  1. You are a director of a company, a public entertainer or a professional in Singapore; or
  2. Your absences from Singapore are incidental to your Singapore employment. In this case, your total income (including income for services rendered outside Singapore) is taxable in full in Singapore.

Director's fees and other income are taxed at the prevailing rate of 22% (20% prior to Year of Assessment 2017).

You are not entitled to tax reliefs.

 

   
   

You are on short-term employment for 60 days or less in a year. You will be regarded as a non-resident.

Year of Assessment  Period of Employment Tax Residency Status Employment Income
 2016 3 Nov 2015 to 31 Dec 2015 (59 days) Non-Resident  Exempt from income Tax
 2017 1 Jan 2016 to 29 Feb 2016 (60 days) Non-Resident Exempt from Income Tax
   
   

Tax exemption does not apply if your absences from Singapore are incidental to your Singapore employment. Total income including income for services rendered outside Singapore is taxable in full in Singapore.

 Year of Assessment Period of Employment Tax Residency Status
 2016

1 Jun 2015 to 31 Dec 2015 (214 days)

  • Overseas business trip (164 days)
  • Physical presence in Singapore (50 days)
Tax Resident 
 2017

 1 Jan 2016 to 30 Jul 2016 (213 days)

  • Overseas business trips (163 days)
  • Physical presence in Singapore (50 days)
 Tax Resident

 

Tax Implications at a Glance (In Singapore for 61 to 182 Days in a Year)

Tax Residency Status  Tax Implications
 Non-Resident                                                       

Your employment income is taxed at 15% or progressive resident rates, whichever results in a higher tax amount.

Director's fees and other income are taxed at the prevailing rate of 22% (20% prior to Year of Assessment 2017).

You are not entitled to tax reliefs.

 

   
   
 Year of Assessment Period of Stay (Inclusive of Work) in Singapore Tax Residency Status
 2017 3 Jul 2016 to 31 Dec 2016 (182 days) Non-Resident

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