Overseas Income Received in Singapore

Generally, overseas income received in Singapore on or after 1 Jan 2004 is not taxable and need not be declared. This includes overseas income paid into a Singapore bank account.

Example: Overseas posting

You have been seconded to work overseas from 1 Mar 2015 to 1 Mar 2017. Generally, your employment income for the abovementioned period is considered as foreign-sourced and not taxable in Singapore if:
• There is a formal secondment agreement/contract that clearly specifies the period of your secondment; and
• Your services are wholly rendered for the overseas entity, outside Singapore.

Taxable Overseas Income

Overseas income is taxable in Singapore if:

a) It is received through partnerships in Singapore; or

b) Your overseas employment is incidental to your Singapore employment i.e. your duties or services rendered overseas is for the benefit of the Singapore entity.

You are a regional sales manager employed by a Singapore company. You are required to travel overseas frequently to oversee operations in regional countries. Your employment income is fully taxable in Singapore since your work overseas is incidental to your Singapore employment.

c) Employed Overseas on Behalf of the Singapore Government

As a Singapore citizen or tax resident in Singapore, the income from your employment exercised outside Singapore on behalf of the Singapore government is deemed to be derived from Singapore.

All the gains from your employment including overseas allowances are taxable in Singapore.

Your employer will send your employment income details (including allowances paid to you while you are working outside Singapore) to IRAS.

The tax on overseas allowances will be remitted if the application for tax remission was approved by the Minister of Finance.

Generally, your gains from such employment overseas will not be taxed in the foreign country if:

(i)   There is a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) between Singapore and the foreign country; or

(ii)   There is a provision for reciprocal exemption by Singapore and foreign governments.

Should the gains from your employment be taxed in the foreign country, you may apply for double taxation relief or tax remission in Singapore, to avoid being taxed twice on the same income.

Please approach your employer for clarification on application for tax remission for Cost of Living Allowances (COLA).

d) You have a trade/business in Singapore and you are carrying on a trade/ business overseas which is incidental to your Singapore trade.

Should your gains from your overseas employment be taxed in the foreign country, you may apply for double taxation relief, to avoid being taxed twice on the same income.

How to Report

For overseas income which is taxable, you have to declare the income under 'employment income' (if your employer is not under the AIS)*, 'trade income' or 'other income' (whichever is applicable) in your tax return. You should also declare your Singapore income (if any).

*To find out if your employer is under the AIS.

For details, please refer to:

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