Tips on e-Filing Tax Clearance (Form IR21)


Who can e-File IR21

You must be authorized by your company either as a Preparer or an Approver for the e-Filing of Form IR21.

Roles and Access Rights for Preparer and Approver are as follows:

 

Preparer

Approver

  • Prepare form and save as draft for Approver to approve and submit to IRAS.
  • Cannot submit e-IR21.
  • View / edit / delete drafts prepared by himself and other Preparers within the organisation.
  • View tax clearance status of IR21 filed via post / fax.
  • View all Correspondence / Notices sent by IRAS.
  • Approve and submit any e-IR21 pending approval. 
  • Prepare e-IR21
  • View / edit / delete drafts prepared by Preparers, himself and other Approvers within the organisation.
  • View filing and tax clearance status of e-filed IR21 and IR21 filed via post / fax.
  • View all Correspondence / Notices sent by IRAS.

Getting Ready

Before you start filing, please get ready the relevant information required to complete the Form IR21. These include:

  • Employee's Details
  • Employment Records
  • Income Details

The filing may take you 5 - 10 minutes to complete. To guide you through the e-Filing process, you can refer to the  User Guide or the  FAQs (79KB).

Please clear your cache (temporary internet files) before and after your e-Filing. Learn more on how to clear cache.


Online Help

If you need help during e-Filing, please:

  • Click on the icon < />info-icon>, known as ‘i-help’; or 
  • Click on "Ask IRAS" at the top right hand corner of the page.

Points to note when e-Filing

"Save as draft" facility

If you are not able to complete your filing at one session, you may save the e-IR21 as draft. You can access the draft later and make the necessary amendments before you submit the e-IR21.

The draft will be available up till 21 days from the date of creation.

Timeout

If a filing session is left idle for more than 20 minutes, a connection timeout will occur and you have to log in to the portal again. If you are unable to complete your filing, save your changes as draft before you logout from the Portal.

Acknowledgement

If your e-Filing is successful, you will see an Acknowledgement page after you click Submit. To save the page with Internet Explorer:

  • Select "File Menu > Save As" on the browser window.
  • Select the location to save the HTML document.
  • Type in the desired file name in "File Name:" and click on "Save" button.

File New IR21 Page

For this page, please complete the active fields (i.e. not greyed out) in sequential order.

Click anywhere on the page after completing Item 3 / 4 / 5 to allow the page to refresh and process your entries.

Please confirm the relevant entries before clicking on Continue to proceed as you are not allowed to change any of these inputs in subsequent pages.


Auto-Inclusion Scheme for Employment Income

Please see table below for the corresponding course of actions.

Scenarios Changes to be made to income details No change to income details

Income details for the year prior to the year of cessation has been transmitted to IRAS under the Auto-Inclusion Scheme for Employment Income

Select:

-"Yes" to the "Auto Salary Inclusion Scheme" question.

-"Yes" to the "changes to the income details" question.

Please furnish the amended income details.

Select:

-"Yes" to the "Auto Salary Inclusion Scheme" question.

-"No" to the "changes to the income details" question.

You do not need to refurnish the income details.

Income details for the year prior to the year of cessation has not been transmitted

Select:

-"No" to the "Auto Salary Inclusion Scheme" question.

Please furnish the income details.


Types of e-IR21

Please select the appropriate type of e-IR21 and complete it according to the guidelines below.

Original Additional Amended
  • Indicate "Original" if you are e-Filing tax clearance for your employee for the first time.
  • Indicate "Additional" if you wish to obtain further tax clearance on an additional amount of income payable to the employee after the filing of the Original e-IR21.
  • Indicate "Amended" if you wish to make changes to the Original e-IR21 submitted.
  • Complete where applicable.
  • Enter only the additional income payable.
  • Enter all fields as this filing supercedes the Original e-IR21 filed.
 
  • Do not enter the income details reported in the Original e-IR21.

Common mistakes made in e-filing

It is important that you provide complete and accurate information when filing the Form IR21. Tax clearance processing time may take longer if the information in the Form IR21 is incomplete or when IRAS needs clarification on the submitted information.

  Mistakes What you need to do instead
Declaring Employment Income
1 My employee worked from 1 Sep 2017 to 31 Jan 2018. His monthly income was $5,000. I reported the total amount of $25,000 under the column "Year of Cessation".
You should report your employee's income separately for each calendar year. Please report the income as follows:
a) Year of Cessation (1 Jan 2018 to 31 Jan 2018) - Income $5,000
b) Year Prior to Year of Cessation (1 Sep 2017 to 31 Dec 2017) - Income $20,000.
Withholding monies for Tax Clearance
2 My employee has tendered his resignation on payday and I have paid him his last month's salary. I did not know that I have to withhold monies from him for tax clearance. So, I have declared zero for "Amount of Monies Withheld pending Tax Clearance" in the Form IR21.

You are required to withhold all monies due to the employee from the day he notified you of his intention to cease employment (i.e. the day you received his resignation letter).

As the obligation to withhold monies from the employee was not fulfilled, you may be held liable for the tax payable by the employee.


Employee's Income Tax Borne by Employer 
3 Since I have withheld my employee's remuneration pending tax clearance, I will indicate "Income Tax Borne by Employer" in the Form IR21.

Paying tax from the withheld remuneration is not considered tax borne by employer. Thus, do not indicate "Income Tax Borne by Employer" in the Form IR21.

Tax considered to be borne by employer if the employer is bearing the tax liability of the employee. The amount of tax liability will then form a taxable component in the hands of the employee. You need to indicate "Income Tax Borne by Employer" for such cases.


Unexercised Stock Options
4 My employee has not exercised his share options when he ceased employment in Singapore. As such, there are no share option gains to be reported in the Form IR21.
Under the "deemed exercise" rule, your employee is deemed to have derived share option gains from his unexercised share options or unvested share awards at the point of tax clearance. You will need to report the deemed gains from the unexercised share options or unvested share awards in the Form IR21 - Appendix 2. For more details, refer to What should I do if there are unexercised share options
Making Changes After Filing
5 I am paying an additional overtime pay to my employee. Since this is an additional payment, I have completed an Additional Form IR21 and reported the total income paid to him in the year.
When filing the Additional Form IR21, remember to:
a) Indicate "Additional" under "Type of Form IR21";
b) Report the amount of additional payment under "Amount of Monies Withheld pending Tax Clearance"; and
c) Withhold the additional payment pending IRAS' processing of the Additional Form IR21.
6 I discovered some errors after I have filed a Form IR21. The income of my employee should be lower than the amount reported previously. I have completed another Original Form IR21 to replace the one I have filed earlier.
You should complete an Amended Form IR21 to replace the Original Form IR21. When filing the Amended Form IR21, remember to:
a) Indicate "Amended" under "Type of Form IR21";
b) Report the full set of income details and the revised amount of withheld monies"; and
c) Withhold the additional payments (if any) pending IRAS' processing of the Amended Form IR21.

Need additional help to e-File?

You may call our Tax Clearance Helpline for additional help to e-File. Please call 1800-356 8300 (or +65-6356 8300 if you are overseas).