Working Outside Singapore

Tax treatment of income from overseas employment.

Overseas Employment

If you are contracted to be based overseas to render your full employment services wholly outside Singapore, you are not liable to tax in Singapore as your employment income is sourced outside Singapore.

It does not matter where and how you are being paid. Your employer will not need to prepare the Form IR8A for you to file your tax in Singapore.

Rendering Services in Singapore as Part of Your Overseas Employment

If you render your employment services in Singapore as part of your overseas employment, your income attributable to services rendered in Singapore is subject to tax in Singapore as follows:

  • Employment exercised in Singapore for not more than 60 days in a calendar year
    Your employment income will be exempt from tax.
  • Employment exercised in Singapore for 61 to 182 days in a calendar year
    You will be regarded as a non-resident. Your employment income will be taxed at either a flat rate of 15% (no personal reliefs would be granted) or progressive resident rates, whichever gives rise to a higher tax.

    Your employer will have to seek Tax Clearance when you cease employment in Singapore.
  • Employment exercised in Singapore for 183 days or more in a calendar year
    You will be regarded as a tax resident. Your employment income, after deduction of tax reliefs, will be taxed at progressive resident rates.
    Your employer will have to seek Tax Clearance when you cease employment in Singapore.

 

Overseas Income

Generally, overseas income received in Singapore on or after 1 Jan 2004 is not taxable. These include overseas income paid into a Singapore bank account.

You do not need to declare overseas income that is not taxable.

Taxable Overseas Income

Overseas income is taxable in Singapore when:

  1. Your overseas employment is incidental to your Singapore employment. That is, as part of your work here, you have to travel overseas.

    For example, when a regional sales manager employed by a Singapore company based in Singapore is required to travel overseas frequently to oversee operations in regional countries, the travel is incidental to his Singapore employment. His employment income, including income attributable to services rendered overseas, is fully taxable in Singapore.

  2. You work in Singapore for a  foreign employer  .
  3. Your overseas employment income is for services rendered in Singapore.
  4. You have a trade / business in Singapore and you are carrying on a trade / business overseas which is incidental to your Singapore trade.
  5. You have received the income in Singapore through a  partnership  in Singapore, unless the income qualifies for exemption*.
  6. You received service income from overseas, unless the income qualifies for exemption*.

    *Please refer to the guide on Tax Exemption for Foreign-Sourced Income (129 KB) for details.
  7. You are employed outside of Singapore on behalf of the Government of Singapore.

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

    All your gains from such employment (including overseas allowances) are taxable in Singapore.

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

    The tax on overseas allowances will be remitted if applications for tax remission are approved by Ministry of Finance (MOF).

    Generally, your gains from such employment will not be taxed outside Singapore.

    Your gains from such employment are exempt from tax in the foreign country where you worked if there is:

    Should the your 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.

     

 

Reporting Taxable Overseas Income

You need to declare the taxable overseas income under ' employment income ' or ' trade income ' (whichever is applicable) in your tax return.

For details, please refer to how to file your tax return .

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