Under the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs), you may be protected from being taxed twice on the same income, depending on the provisions of the DTA.

Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs)

Juridical double taxation results when the same income is being taxed twice - once in the jurisdiction where the income arises and another time in the jurisdiction where the income is received.

Jurisdictions enter into DTAs to mitigate the effects of double taxation.  A DTA partner refers to a jurisdiction which has signed a DTA with Singapore. 

Only the tax residents of Singapore and the respective DTA partner can enjoy the benefits of a DTA.

Benefits under DTAs

Depending on the provisions of the DTA, you may claim the benefits of an exemption from the tax on income for personal services, teachers, researchers, artistes, athletes, students, trainees, etc.

As the specific provisions in each DTA may be different, please always refer to the specific provisions of the relevant DTA in interpreting and applying the DTA.

Tax residents of DTA partners

If you are a tax resident of a jurisdiction that has concluded a DTA with Singapore, you may be protected from being taxed twice on the same income in Singapore.

Exemption on short-term Singapore employment income

The DTA article for 'Dependent Personal Services' provides the source rules for income from employment. The source state is usually where the services are provided / employment is exercised. For short-term employment and to facilitate the movement of qualified personnel, exemption of tax is granted by the source state. 

These conditions apply in most DTAs:

  1. the employment is exercised in the Source State for less than a specified period (typically 183 days in any 12-month period); and
  2. the employer is not a resident of the Source State; and
  3. the income is not paid or borne by a permanent establishment or fixed base of the employer in the Source State.

To check if you are eligible for DTA exemption, please use our DTA Calculator - Dependent Services (XLS, 272KB).

If you are eligible for DTA exemption, you should submit the Claim for DTA Exemption and Certificate of Residence to IRAS.

If you anticipate a refund, please register for PayNow FIN for faster processing.

Please refer to Working for Foreign Employers related examples for more information.

Tax residents of Singapore

When you derive income from another jurisdiction, you may be subject to tax in that jurisdiction.  However, you may claim DTA benefits that entitles a Singapore tax resident to enjoy a reduced tax rate or tax exemption in that jurisdiction.

To enjoy this benefit, you need to submit the Certificate of Residency (COR) to the foreign tax authority to prove that you are a Singapore tax resident.

Applying for Certificate of Residence 

This Certificate of Residence is a letter certifying that you are a tax resident in Singapore for the purpose of claiming benefits under the DTA.

For more information, please refer to How to Apply for COR.