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:

  1. stay or work in Singapore
    1. for at least 183 days in a calendar year; or
    2. continuously for three consecutive years; or
  2. are employed for at least 183 days for a continuous period over two years.  This applies to foreign employees who entered Singapore from 1 Jan 2007 but excludes directors of a company, public entertainers or professionals.

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 yearTax resident for that year                 

Income is taxed at progressive resident rates.

You may claim tax reliefs

Three consecutive yearsTax resident for all three years

Income is taxed at progressive resident rates.

You may claim tax reliefs.

 Period of Employment in SingaporeTax Residency Status Tax Implications 
At least 183 days for a continuous period over two years Tax resident for both 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 2017 to 3 Oct 2017 (186 days). You will be regarded as a tax resident for the Year of Assessment (YA) 2018.

Year of Assessment Period of Stay (Inclusive of Work) in Singapore Tax Residency Status
 2018 1 Apr 2017 to 3 Oct 2017 (186 days) Tax Resident

 

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.

   
   

You have stayed or worked in Singapore from 3 Nov 2015 to 7 May 2017. You will be regarded as a tax resident for YAs 2016 to 2018.

Year of Assessment Period of Stay (Inclusive of Work) in SingaporeTax Residency Status
 20163 Nov 2015 to 31 Dec 2015 (59 days)Tax Resident
 20171 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016 (366 days)Tax Resident
 20181 Jan 2017 to 7 May 2017 (128 days)Tax Resident 

 

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

If you worked for at least 183 days for a continuous period over 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 worked in Singapore from 3 Nov 2016 to 7 May 2017 (at least 183 days for a continuous period over two years). You will be regarded as a tax resident for YAs 2017 and 2018.

Year of AssessmentPeriod of Stay (Inclusive of Work) in SingaporeTax Residency Status
 2017 3 Nov 2016 to 31 Dec 2016 (59 days) Tax Resident
 2018 1 Jan 2017 to 7 May 2017 (128 days) Tax Resident
  Total Number of Days in Singapore: 187 days 
       

You have worked in Singapore from 4 Aug 2016 to 29 Dec 2016.  You continued to stay in Singapore from 30 Dec 2016 to 7 Apr 2017 to look for a job.  You will be regarded as a non-resident for YA 2017 and 2018 as your period of stay in 2016 and 2017 was less than 183 days.  The two-year administrative concession does not apply.

Year of AssessmentPeriod of Stay (Inclusive of Work) in SingaporeTax Residency Status
 2017 4 Aug  2016 to 31 Dec 2016 (150 days) Non Resident
 2018 1 Jan 2017 to 7 Apr 2017 (97 days) Non 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 have worked in Singapore from 3 Nov 2016 to 28 Feb 2017.  You will be regarded as a non-resident for YAs 2017 and 2018 as your employment period for 2016 and 2017 was less than 60 days.  Your employment income will be exempt from tax.   
Year of AssessmentPeriod of EmploymentTax Residency StatusEmployment Income
2017 3 Nov 2016 to 31 Dec 2016 (59 days)Non-ResidentExempt from Income Tax
2018 1 Jan 2017 to 28 Feb 2017 (59 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 AssessmentPeriod of EmploymentTax Residency Status
2017

1 Jun 2016 to 31 Dec 2016 (214 days)

  • Overseas business trip (164 days)
  • Physical presence in Singapore (50 days)
Tax Resident 
 2018

 1 Jan 2017 to 30 Jul 2017 (211 days)

  • Overseas business trips (161 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 AssessmentPeriod of Stay (Inclusive of Work) in SingaporeTax Residency Status
 2018 3 Jul 2017 to 31 Dec 2017 (182 days) Non-Resident

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