Deductions for Individuals (Foreigners) (Expenses, Donations, Reliefs, Rebates)

Allowable expenses, donations, reliefs and rebates are some of the common deductions individuals claim to reduce their taxes.

Deductions for Employees

You may be able to claim tax deductions on employment expenses 'wholly and exclusively' incurred in earning your income. This means you used your own money to pay for expenses necessary to your employment such as travel expense, entertainment expense, subscriptions, etc.

Please refer to Employment Expenses for more details.

Deductions for Sole-Proprietors, Self-Employed Individuals or Partners in a Partnership

Deductions on Rental Expenses

You may be able to claim tax deduction on expenses related to rental income derived in Singapore when:

  • The expense was incurred solely for the purpose of producing the rental income; and
  • The expense was incurred during the period of tenancy.

Please refer to Rent from Property for more details.

Deductions on Donations

You may be able to claim tax deduction of 2.5 / 3 times the amount of donations made from 2009 to 2018:

  • Cash Donations
  • Shares Donations
  • Computer Donations
  • Artefact Donations
  • Public Art Tax Incentive Scheme
  • Land and Building Donations

Please refer to Donations for more details.

Deductions under Angel Investors Tax Deduction Scheme (AITD)

You may claim tax deduction when:

  • You have invested in qualifying start-up companies between 1 Mar 2010 to 31 Mar 2020;
  • You invested  at least $100,000  of qualifying investment in a qualifying start-up company within 12 months from the date of your first investment in that company; and
  • You hold such investment for a continuous period of 2 years from the date of last qualifying investment.

Please refer to Angel Investors Tax Deduction Scheme (AITD) for more details.

Reliefs and Rebates

Tax reliefs and rebates are allowable if:

  • You are a Singapore tax resident; and
  • You meet the qualifying conditions.

Some tax reliefs and rebates are targeted at certain groups of taxpayers to promote specific social and economic objectives.

General Reliefs Available to All TaxpayersAdditional Reliefs Available to Married/ Divorced/ Widowed Taxpayers         
 Available to Male and Female TaxpayersAvailable to Female Taxpayers  

Personal Income Tax Relief Cap

From Year of Assessment (YA) 2018, the total amount of personal income tax reliefs which you can be allowed is subject to an overall relief cap of $80,000 per YA.

You should continue to claim the personal reliefs if you have met the qualifying conditions. If the total amount of reliefs claimed exceeds the relief cap, the tax reliefs will be capped at $80,000.

Mr and Mrs Ang have 2 children who are 6 and 8 years old in 2017. Mrs Ang has an earned income of $160,000 for that year.

Mr Ang claims the full amount of QCR of $8,000 (i.e. $4,000 x 2) on their two children. Mrs Ang claims NSman Wife Relief, Working Mother's Child Relief (WMCR) and Foreign Maid Levy Relief.

Mrs Ang is a Singapore tax resident for the Year of Assessment (YA) 2018 and her chargeable income computation for YA 2018 is as follows: 

Employment Income of Mrs Ang$160,000
Less: Personal Reliefs 
- Earned Income Relief$1,000
- CPF Relief$20,400
- NSman Wife Relief $750
- WMCR on 1st child$24,000 (15% x $160,000) 
- WMCR on 2nd child$32,000 (20% x $160,000)
- Foreign Maid Levy Relief$1,440 
Total Personal Reliefs $79,590
Chargeable Income of Mrs Ang$80,410 ($160,000 - $79,590)

The relief cap of $80,000 does not apply to Mrs Ang as the total reliefs claimed by her are less than $80,000. Therefore, she is not affected by the relief cap.

Mr and Mrs Wong have 3 children who are 3, 5 and 9 years old in 2017. Mr Wong claims the full amount of QCR on their three children.

Mrs Wong has an earned income of $100,000 for 2017. She claims NSman Wife Relief, WMCR and Foreign Maid Levy Relief.

Mrs Wong is a Singapore tax resident and her tax computation for YA 2018 is as follows: 

Employment Income of Mrs Wong$100,000
Less: Personal Reliefs 
- Earned Income Relief$1,000
- CPF Relief$20,000
- NSman Wife Relief $750
- WMCR on 1st child$15,000 (15% x $100,000) 
- WMCR on 2nd child$20,000 (20% x $100,000)
- WMCR on 3rd child$25,000 (25% x 100,000)
- Foreign Maid Levy Relief$1,440 
Total Personal Reliefs$83,190
Total Personal Reliefs after capping$80,000
Chargeable Income$20,000 ($100,000 - $80,000)
Tax Payable by Mrs Wong$0

Notes:

1. As the total amount of personal reliefs claimed by Mrs Wong exceeds the overall relief cap of $80,000, the total personal reliefs allowed to her is capped at $80,000 for YA 2018.

2. Despite the relief cap, as her chargeable income does not exceed $20,000, the tax payable by Mrs Wong remains at $0.

Mr and Mrs Chua have 3 children who are 8, 10 and 12 years old in 2016. Mr Chua claims the full amount of QCR of $12,000 (i.e. $4,000 x 3) on their three children.

Mrs Chua has an earned income of $125,000 for 2016. She claims NSman Wife Relief, WMCR and Foreign Maid Levy Relief. For 2017, she has the same income and claims the same reliefs.

Mrs Chua is a Singapore tax resident. The comparison of her tax computations for YA 2017 and YA 2018 is as follows:

  YA 2017 YA 2018
Employment Income of Mrs Chua$125,000$125,000
Less: Personal Reliefs  
- Earned Income Relief$1,000$1,000
- CPF Relief$20,400$20,400
- NSman Wife Relief $750$750
- WMCR on 1st child$18,750 (15% x $125,000)$18,750 (15% x $125,000) 
- WMCR on 2nd child$25,000 (20% x $125,000)$25,000 (20% x $125,000)
- WMCR on 3rd child$31,250 (25% x 125,000)$31,250 (25% x 125,000)
- Foreign Maid Levy Relief$1,440$1,440 
Total Personal Reliefs$98,590$98,590
Total Personal Reliefs after capping (for YA 2018)Not applicable$80,000
Chargeable Income$26,410 ($125,000 - $98,590)$45,000 ($125,000 - $80,000)
Tax on First $20,000$0-
Tax on Next $6,410 @ 2%$128.20 -
Tax on First $40,000 -$550
Tax on Next $5,000 @ 7% -$350
Gross Tax Payable by Mrs Chua$128.20$900 ($550 + $350)
Less: Personal Income Tax Rebate (20% of tax payable, up to a cap of $500)$25.64 N/A
Net Tax Payable $102.56 ($128.20 - $25.64) $900

Notes:

1. The overall personal income tax relief cap of $80,000 takes effect from YA 2018. Hence, the total amount of reliefs claimed by Mrs Chua is not capped for YA 2017.

2. As the total amount of personal reliefs claimed by Mrs Chua exceeds the overall relief cap of $80,000, the total personal reliefs allowed to her is capped at $80,000 for YA 2018.

3. There is an increase in tax payable of $797.44 ($900 - $102.56) for Mrs Chua from YA 2017 to YA 2018, due to the relief cap.   

Rebates

  • What does the cap on personal income tax relief apply to?

    The cap on personal income tax relief applies to the total amount of all tax reliefs claimed.

  • Why is the $80,000 personal income tax relief cap introduced?

    There are currently 15 personal income tax reliefs and each relief serves a worthy objective. However, taken together, the tax reliefs can unduly reduce the total taxable income for a small proportion of individuals.

    We need to moderate the effects of large amounts of reliefs claimed, in order to preserve equity in our tax structure. Hence, the personal income tax relief cap was introduced in Budget 2016. By limiting the reliefs an individual can claim to reduce the taxable income, the personal income tax system will be more progressive. The vast majority of taxpayers are unaffected by the relief cap.

  • When will the personal income tax relief cap take place?

    The personal income tax relief cap of $80,000 will be effective from YA 2018.

  • How do I know if I am affected by the relief cap?

    You will be affected by the relief cap if the total amount of personal reliefs claimed by you exceeds $80,000. The tax reliefs to be allowed to you will be capped at $80,000, which will be reflected in your Notice of Assessment.

    To check if you will be affected by the relief cap, you can use the income tax calculator for YA 2018

  • I am a working mother and I am affected by the relief cap. Is there a change in the Government’s policies to encourage women to have more children and to continue working after giving birth?

    For female taxpayers who are claiming Working Mother's Child Relief (WMCR), with the relief cap, 9 in 10 of them claiming WMCR are not affected as stated in Budget 2016 Statement. The relief cap is fundamentally a change in the personal income tax system.

    The Government is not rolling back the focus on marriage and parenthood. The Government's support for marriage and parenthood extends beyond tax reliefs, which includes the Baby Bonus Cash Gift, Medisave Grant for Newborns, and the CDA First Step grant. Parents of children who are older can benefit from paid childcare leave, Foreign Domestic Worker levy concession and subsidies for preschool, primary and secondary schools and tertiary institutions. The Government remains committed to supporting Singaporeans in fulfilling their marriage and parenthood aspirations.   

  • With the relief cap in place, do I still claim all reliefs?

    Personal reliefs are granted based on claims made. You may continue to claim the personal reliefs, as long as you have satisfied the qualifying conditions of the respective reliefs.

    Based on the claims made by you, if the total amount of personal reliefs exceeds the overall relief cap of $80,000, the personal reliefs allowed to you will be limited to $80,000.

  • The total WMCR which I can claim on my children are more than $80,000. Can I transfer the balance of my WMCR to my spouse?

    No. If the total amount of personal reliefs claimed by you exceeds the relief cap of $80,000, the personal reliefs allowed to you will be limited to $80,000. The balance of the reliefs which you have claimed will be disregarded and cannot be transferred.

    When claiming reliefs, if you are aware that you have exceeded the relief cap, you may consider giving up certain reliefs (e.g. Qualifying Child Relief, Parent Relief and Grandparent Caregiver Relief) and let others (e.g. your spouse, your siblings) claim the reliefs, provided that they satisfy the conditions for claiming those reliefs.

  • My siblings and I had previously agreed to share the Parent Relief on our parents equally. However, for YA 2018, the total amount of personal reliefs which I can claim is more than $80,000 even without the Parent Relief claim. Can I give my share of the Parent Relief to my siblings?

    Personal reliefs are granted based on claims made. If you decide not to claim Parent Relief for YA 2018, you can inform your siblings so that they can claim your share of Parent Relief.

    If you have claimed for your share of Parent Relief and realised that you have exceeded the relief cap after receiving the Notice of Assessment, you may file an objection online to withdraw your claim for Parent Relief. Your siblings will also need to file objections online to claim any additional share of Parent Relief based on their revised agreement on how to share the Parent Relief.

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