Deductions on Employment Expenses

Examples of allowable employment expenses that may be deducted against your income to reduce the amount of tax payable, and how to claim allowable employment expenses.

Employment Expenses

Employment expenses are expenses that are 'wholly and exclusively' incurred in the production of your  employment income  in Singapore. These expenses may be deducted from your employment income as long as they are allowable expenses.

Allowable Expenses

The expense may be allowed when the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. The expense was incurred while carrying out your official duties;
  2. The expense was not reimbursed by your employer; and
  3. The expense was not capital or private in nature.
  • Entertainment expenses incurred in entertaining clients. Please note that you need to exclude your share of the entertainment (e.g. meal) expenses.
  • Mosque building fund, zakat , fitrah or any other religious dues authorised by law.
  • Subscriptions paid to professional bodies or society for professional updates, knowledge and networking.
  • Travelling expenses incurred on public transport, such as buses, trains, taxis.

Claiming Allowable Employment Expenses

Claim Expenses in Your Tax Return

You need to enter your employment expenses claim under 'Employment Expenses' in your tax return

Keep Proper Records

You have to keep complete and proper records of all expenses incurred for 5 years. For example, expenses incurred in 2018 for YA 2019 must be kept and retained until 31 Dec 2023.

These records and accounts must be supported with invoices, receipts, vouchers, and other documents. Please submit the supporting documents only when we request for them.

IRAS will not accept estimates and improper records. For details, please refer to Keep Proper Records & Accounts .

Use the Employment Expenses Schedule

Use the  Employment Expenses Schedule  (50 KB) to record the details of the expense. Remember to keep all invoices, receipts, vouchers, etc.

  • Expenses incurred for social purposes and maintaining goodwill (e.g. entertainment expenses incurred on meals with colleagues)
  • Payment in lieu of notice paid to employers for failing to serve sufficient notice period before leaving a job
  • Transport expenses incurred on your own private motor vehicle
  • Travelling expenses incurred to and from home and office
  • I have breached my employment contract and I was ordered to pay back the company the income that I earned. Why am I still being taxed on the income that I paid back to the company?

    Employment income and payback to company for breach of employment contract are two separate types of payment.

    The employment income that you received was for services you rendered when you were still employed by the company and is therefore taxable.

    The amount you pay back to your company is its compensation when you breached your employment contract. This is considered as liquidated damages.   Liquidated damages are not tax deductible as an expense and it cannot be offset against your employment income.


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