Any rent payments you receive when you rent out your property are subject to income tax and must be declared in your Income Tax Return.

Under the Rental Relief Framework, owners (i.e. landlords) of qualifying non-residential properties would have received a cash grant in 2020. The cash grant is not taxable. Landlords are required to provide rental waivers to eligible tenants through any of these methods:

1. Monetary payments to the tenants; and/or
2. Reduction of rent or license fee provided to the tenant; and/or
3. Passing on the Property Tax Rebate to the tenants, fully or partly.

For more information on the income tax reporting, please refer to the Rental Relief Framework – Reporting Year of Assessment 2021 rental income by individuals who are owners of non-residential properties.

Rental income

Rental income refers to the full amount of rent and related payments you receive when you rent out your property. This includes:

  • Rent of the premises
  • Maintenance
  • Rent of the furniture and fittings
  • Rental deposit – Generally, forfeiture of the rental deposit is considered as part of your gross rent and is taxable. However, depending on the reason for the forfeiture of the rental deposit (e.g. rental deposit forfeited due to damages to property by tenant), IRAS may consider excluding it as part of the gross rent. When filing your Income Tax Return, please provide IRAS with reasons for the forfeiture of the rental deposit.
  • Subletting of property – Some property owners may choose to rent out a portion of their property (i.e. subletting). For example, they rent out a spare room while still dwelling in their home. The rental income from subletting is taxable. Property owners are required to apportion the allowable expenses incurred based on the number of rooms rented out (refer to Example 6 below).
  • Recovery from insurance – If you have recovered any amount from insurance on the property that is rented out, the amount recovered is taxable and should be reported as part of your income.

The net rental income after deduction of any allowable expenses is subject to income tax.  It is taxable from the date it is due and payable to the property owner, and not the date of actual receipt.


Difference between property tax and income tax

Difference between property tax and income tax

Example 1: Rental income was due in 2020, but only paid in 2021

Your tenant rented your property from Oct to Dec 2020. However, he only paid the rent for this period in Jan 2021.

You need to declare the rent for Oct to Dec 2020 for the Year of Assessment 2021 as the rent was due to you in 2020.

Amount of taxable rental income

Sole ownership of propertyJointly owned property
The rental income is taxed 100% on the sole owner of the property, even if a third party receives the rent. The rental income is taxed on all the joint owners based on their legal share in the property. It does not matter which party receives the rent or whether the owners paid for the property. The rental loss is also apportioned to joint owners, based on their legal share in the property.

Rental expenses

Expenses incurred solely for producing the rental income and during the period of tenancy may be claimed as tax deduction.

Property owners who lease their residential properties can now enjoy the convenience of pre-filled rental expenses.

To simplify tax-filing and reduce the burden of record-keeping, an amount of deemed rental expenses calculated based on 15% of the gross rent will be pre-filled in the online tax form. In addition to the 15% deemed rental expenses, property owners may still claim mortgage interest on the loan taken to purchase the tenanted property. Please keep the supporting documents relating to the mortgage interest for at least 5 years for verification purposes. For deemed rental expenses claim, it is not necessary to keep records of the other rental expenses incurred.

Alternatively, property owners may opt to claim the amount of actual rental expenses incurred. Please retain all supporting documents such as tenancy agreements, bank mortgage statements, invoices and receipts for at least 5 years for verification purposes.

The table below lists allowable and non-allowable rental expenses:

Type of expense

Allowable expenses

Non-allowable expenses

Housing loans

Interest (including late payment interest^) paid on the loan or mortgage taken to purchase the property that is rented out.

(See Note 1 below)

Repayments of the principal loan or mortgage amount (monthly instalments).


Late default charges or finance fees^ imposed by banks for late repayment of loans.

Property tax

Incurred during the rental period (e.g. property tax paid for year 2020, on property rented out in 2020).

Incurred outside the rental period.


Penalty imposed for late payment or non-payment of property tax.


Balance brought forward from previous year's property tax.

Fire insurance

Premiums paid on fire insurance.

Capital sum assured on property.

Repairs

Repairs done during the rental period to restore the property to its original state.

Cost of initial repairs.


Repairs done which result in improvement/additions and alterations.


Repairs incurred outside rental period.

Maintenance

Cost of maintaining the property (e.g. painting, pest control, monthly maintenance charges [including late payment charges^] to management corporations).

Cost of renovation, additions, alterations to the property (e.g. extension of car porch, construction of drains, cementing of walls and floors, installation of window grilles).

Costs of securing tenant

Agent's commission, advertising, legal expenses and stamp duties for getting subsequent tenants.


Agent's commission, advertising, legal expenses and stamp duties for getting the first tenant of an additional property is deductible against the rental income of that property (See Example 3).

Agent's commission, advertising, legal expenses and stamp duties for getting the first tenant (See Note 2).

Costs of supervision or management fees

Costs in engaging a third party (e.g. property agent / company) to carry out activities such as ensuring rentals are paid promptly, maintenance and upkeep of the properties and attending to tenants queries and complaints.


Where the management fees is paid to a related party (e.g. relatives or own company), owners need to justify that the amount paid is at market rate and commensurate with the services rendered.

 

Furniture and fittings

Replacements of furnishings (e.g. furniture, fixtures, electrical appliances) to its original state.

 

Hiring of furniture.

Depreciation of furnishings (e.g. furniture, fixtures, electrical appliances).


New improvements/additions made to furnishings (e.g. furniture, fixtures, electrical appliances).

Internet charges/expenses

Paid on behalf of tenant (i.e. not reimbursed by tenant).

Paid on behalf of tenant and reimbursed by tenant subsequently.

Utility expenses

Paid on behalf of tenant (i.e. not reimbursed by tenant).

Paid on behalf of tenant and reimbursed by tenant subsequently.

Expenses incurred on properties that are not generating rental income

N.A.

The relevant expenses incurred on such properties (e.g. rent, utilities, maintenance paid for own accommodation/a vacant property) cannot be claimed against the rental income generated from other properties as the expenses are capital and private in nature.

(See Note 3 below)

 

^ Only statutory fines or penalties imposed for the non-compliance/breach of a requirement of law are not deductible against your rental income.

 

Note 1: Obtaining a housing loan to purchase property

  • Loan obtained (by mortgaging Property A) to purchase Property B: The loan interest is deductible, provided the rental income is generated from Property B.
  • Loan obtained (by mortgaging Property A) to be used for other purposes (e.g. to purchase another property for residential purpose or for business): The loan interest is not deductible against rental income of Property A as the loan is not incurred to purchase the said property.
  • Overdraft obtained for financing the purchase of Property A and also for personal use: Only that portion of the loan interest applicable to the amount of loan to finance the purchase of Property A is deductible against its rental income.
  • For interest incurred on refinanced loans, please refer to the administrative concession for interest incurred by taxpayers on loans to re-finance earlier loans or borrowings.

Note 2: Costs of securing tenant

As a concession, agent's commission, advertising, legal expenses and stamp duties for getting the first tenant of an additional property is deductible against the rental income of that property (See Example 3).

Note 3: Expenses incurred on properties not generating rental income of securing tenant

You bought Property X in 2019 for your own stay. In 2020, you decided to rent out Property X and rented a house (i.e. Property Y) near your office for the convenience of travelling to and from work.

The rent paid on Property Y is considered as a private expense and is not a deductible expense against the rent received from Property X.

Example 2: Individuals who receive rental income from 1 property

Categories Rental Information
Calendar year 2019 2020
Year of Assessment 2020 2021
Description of use of property Taxpayer bought a property in May 2019.
 
Property was under renovation for 3 months before it was rented out.
 
In Sep 2019, the property was rented out for a period of 2 years (from Sep 2019 to Aug 2021) to its first tenant, John.
 
Commission was paid to an agent to secure a tenant.
In Jun 2020, the tenant terminated the lease agreement.
 
Property was vacant for 3 months before a new tenant was secured in Oct 2020.
 
Taxpayer has taken reasonable efforts (e.g. evidence of advertisements, engagement of an agent) to look for a tenant during the vacant period but the property was not rented out due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. poor market sentiment or oversupply of housing in the property market).
 
Commission was paid to an agent to secure the new tenant (subsequent tenant).

During the vacant period, minor repairs were carried out on the property.
Allowable expenses 1.    Interest on housing loan paid for the acquisition of the property during the period of tenancy (Sep 2019 to Dec 2019);
2.    Property tax paid during the period of tenancy (Sep 2019 to Dec 2019).
1.    Interest on housing loan paid for the acquisition of the property (including the vacant period) during the period of tenancy (Jan 2020 to Dec 2020);
2.    Property tax paid (including the vacant period) during the period of tenancy (Jan 2020 to Dec 2020);
3.    Costs of securing subsequent tenant (e.g. Agent's commission, advertising, legal expenses and stamp duties paid);
4.    Cost of repairs incurred during the vacant period.
Disallowable expenses 1.    Cost of renovation incurred on the property prior to commencement of tenancy.
2.    Costs of securing first tenant (e.g. agent's commission, advertising, legal expenses and stamp duties paid) prior to the commencement of tenancy.
NIL

Example 3: Individuals who receive rental income from more than 1 property concurrently

Categories Rental Information
Calendar year 2020
Year of Assessment 2021
Number of property owned

First (Property A)

Tenants in Property ATenants in Property A

 
Second (Property B)

Property BTenants in Property B
Description of the use of property Rented out since May 2019 In Feb 2020, taxpayer bought Property B and made some minor repairs before it was rented out.
 
Taxpayer rented out Property B (subsequent property) from May 2020 to Apr 2021 to its first tenant.
 
Commission was paid to agent to secure the tenant.
Allowable expenses
  1. Interest on housing loan paid during the period of tenancy for the acquisition of:
    • Property A (Jan 2020 to Dec 2020)
    • Property B (May 2020 to Dec 2020)
  2. Property tax paid during the period of tenancy
    • Property A (Jan 2020 to Dec 2020)
    • Property B (May 2020 to Dec 2020)
  3. Costs of securing first tenant on Property B (e.g. agent's commission, advertising, legal expenses and stamp duties paid). As both properties are rented out concurrently, the cost of securing the first tenant on Property B will be allowed as a deduction.
Disallowable expenses Cost of repairs incurred on Property B prior to the commencement of tenancy.

Example 4: Apportionment of rental expenses for property that was not rented out for the full year

You have rented out your non-residential property at a gross rent of $5,000 per month for 10 months. Besides the interest of $12,000 paid on the loan taken to purchase the property, you have incurred other deductible expenses, namely property tax of $2,400, fire insurance of $180 and maintenance of $3,600. Your actual rental expenses are to be apportioned as follows:

Gross rent $5,000 x 10 = $50,000
Mortgage interest $12,000 x 10/12 = $10,000
Property tax $2,400 x 10/12 = $2,000
Fire insurance $180 x 10/12 = $150
Maintenance $3,600 x 10/12 = $3,000

Net rent
= $50,000 - $10,000 - $2,000 - $150 - $3,000
= $34,850

Simplified claim for rental expenses for tenanted residential property

If you have more than one tenanted residential property and opt to claim actual rental expenses on any one tenanted residential property, you will need to apply this treatment consistently to all your tenanted residential properties. You cannot claim 15% deemed rental expenses on one tenanted residential property and claim actual rental expenses on another tenanted residential property.

If your residential property has been approved for non-residential use (e.g. child care centre or workers' dormitory), it is not considered as a residential property for tax purposes.

The deemed expenses option is not applicable under the following circumstances:

  1. You did not incur any deductible expense (apart from mortgage interest) in respect of the rental income derived; or
  2. You derived the rental income through a partnership in Singapore; or
  3. You derived the rental income from a property held under a trust.

Find out more about Simplification of Claim of Rental Expenses for Individuals (PDF, 247KB).

Claim for rental expenses for tenanted non-residential property

For tenanted non-residential property, you would only be able to claim the actual rental expenses incurred. You are required to keep the supporting documents for at least 5 years for verification purposes.

Example 5: How to claim the 15% deemed rental expenses

You have rented out your residential property at a gross rent of $5,000 per month for the full year. Besides the interest of $12,000 paid on the loan taken to purchase the property, you have incurred a total amount of $7,500 on other deductible expenses, namely property tax, fire insurance and maintenance. You may claim the deemed rental expenses as follows:

Gross rent $5,000 x 12 = $60,000
Mortgage interest $12,000
Other expenses $60,000 x 15% = $9,000

Net rent
= $60,000 - $12,000 - $9,000
= $39,000   

Example 6: You are subletting in a room in your home

You are living in a 4-room flat with 3 bedrooms. You sublet one of the rooms for the full year. Your tenant pays you $600 per month as rent. The total amount of deductible expenses incurred for the whole flat is $3,000. You must apportion the allowable expenses incurred based only on the number of rooms rented out. Alternatively, you may opt to claim the rental expenses based on 15% of the gross rental income.

Your net rent is calculated as follows:

Rental Period for full calendar yearComputing net rent based on actual expenses incurredComputing net rent based on simplified claim for rental expenses
Gross rent$600 x 12 = $7,200$600 x 12 = $7,200
Deductible expenses(1 bedroom / 3 bedrooms) x $3,000 = $1,000$7,200 x 15% = $1,080
Net rent (Gross rent - Proportion of allowable expenses allowed)= $6,200 ($7,200 - $1,000)= $6,120 ($7,200 - $1,080)

Reporting rental income

You have to declare the gross rent of your property in the previous year and details of deductible expenses of each property under 'Other Income: Rent from property' in your Income Tax Return.

The required details include the following:

  1. total annual rent collected;
  2. total deductible expenses; and
  3. share of the rent (for jointly-owned property)

You may use our Rental Calculator (XLS, 254KB) to compute your rental income if you opt to claim actual expenses incurred.

Rental income from partnership property
If rental income is derived by a partnership from its partnership property, the rental income is to be reported in the partnership Income Tax Return (Form P).

Where rental income is received by the partnership in the business of investment holding or operating coffeeshops/eating houses/food courts, the rental income is to be reported as business income of the partnership in the partnership Income Tax Return (Form P).  

 Precedent partnersIndividual partners
How to report rental income by precedent partner / partnerForm PForm B/B1

Rental income derived from partnership property

Precedent partner should file the Form P and include rental income/loss derived from partnership under “Other income - Rent”.

 

For each property, please include details of the gross rent (inclusive of rental of furniture and fittings, service charges received from the tenant) and expenses incurred.

 

Precedent partner should also enter each individual partner’s share of the rental income/loss at  Partnership Allocation under “Other income from Partnership – Rent”.

The individual partner should enter their share of rental income/loss derived through partnership under “Partnership - Rent”.

 

Rental deficits (i.e. excess of deductible expenses incurred to rent out the property over the gross rental received from that property) cannot be offset against other sources of income.

 

However, if the precedent partner of the partnership e-files the Form P by 28 Feb of the year, the partnership allocation will be pre-filled in the respective partners' Form B/B1.

Rental income received by partnership in the business of investment holding or operating coffeeshops/eating houses/food courts

Precedent partner should file the Form P and include rental income/loss derived from partnership as  business income in the 4-line statement under “Trade, Business, Profession or Vocation”.

 

Precedent partner should also enter each individual partner’s share of the Divisible Profit/Loss at  Partnership Allocation.

The individual partner should enter their share of business rental income/loss derived through partnership under "Partnership - Your Share of Divisible Profit/Loss".

 

However, if the precedent partner of the partnership e-files the Form P by 28 Feb of the year, the partnership allocation will be pre-filled in the respective partners' Form B/B1.

Reporting late or not reporting rental income

You may incur penalties for submission of incorrect returns (e.g. failing to report any rental income) to IRAS.
However, IRAS may waive the penalty if voluntary disclosure is made within the 'grace period' of 1 year from the statutory filing date.

Find out more about How to Report a Mistake to Qualify for Zero Penalty or Lower Penalty.

Rental losses

Losses from renting out your property cannot be carried forward and used to offset against any other income (e.g. employment income) that you may have in the same year or in the future.

However, as an administrative concession, you may use the rental loss of one property to offset against the taxable rental income of another property in the same year provided all the rented out properties have been rented out at market rates.

Example 7: Using the rental loss from one property to offset rental gain from another property

Property

Rental gain/loss

Rental gains from property A

$30,000

Less: Rental loss from property B

$10,000

Taxable net rent

$20,000 ($30,000 - $10,000)

You will be taxed on the net gain of $20,000 from these 2 properties.

FAQs

Pre-filling of rental income from Year of Assessment 2015 onwards

Why has IRAS pre-filled these details?

To further simplify the filing obligations for taxpayers, we have pre-filled the rental details. Taxpayers only need to verify the pre-filled rental information and make amendments if necessary. 

I am doing my e-Filing and I noted that in the rental income section, the information has been pre-filled. Where did IRAS obtain the information on my rental income?

IRAS has pre-filled these details based on the rental information reported by you in the previous year and/or from our e-Stamping records.

The gross rent is pre-filled as $23,500. But I have collected actual gross rent of $26,000. Do I have to change the details?

Yes. The onus is on the taxpayer to ensure that the correct amount is reported in his income tax filing.

The information was pre-filled based on the rental information reported by you in the previous year or from our e-Stamping records. If the actual rent received by you was different, you must report the correct amount. Please note that there are penalties for filing an incorrect Income Tax Return.

Why are the details pre-filled when I have not rented out this property?

The details were pre-filled based on the filing you have done in the previous year or from our e-Stamping records. If you have not rented out the property in the preceding year, please update the status of the property as 'Not Rented Out'. If you have rented out the property for part of the year, please report the rental income received for that period.

If my co-owner has already declared the rental income for our jointly owned property, am I still required to declare the rental income in my Income Tax Return?

Each co-owner should declare the full rental income and related expenses in their individual Income Tax Return. The co-owners should also indicate their percentage share of the net rent based on their legal share of the property.

My tenancy was only for the period Mar to Dec. However, the pre-filled rental income is for the whole year. What should I do?

The rental income details were pre-filled based on the filing you had done in the previous year or our e-Stamping records. If you have rented out the property for only part of the year, please adjust the rental period accordingly and report the rental income received for that period.

I have rental income from more than 8 properties. How will the rental income details be pre-filled in the IDRS?

The rental income details for the first 7 properties will be pre-filled based on your filing in the previous year and/or our e-Stamping records. A consolidated amount will be shown for the eighth and subsequent properties based on your filing in the previous year and/or our e-Stamping records.

Pre-filling of deemed expenses for residential properties from Year of Assessment 2016 onwards

I noticed that IRAS has pre-filled deemed rental expenses of 15% of the gross annual rent for my residential property. However, I want to claim the actual amount of rental expenses I have incurred.

IRAS has pre-filled the rental expenses for your tenanted residential properties based on 15% of the gross annual rent.

If you wish to claim the actual expenses, please:

  1. Uncheck the box for deemed expenses at the 'Rental from Property' page, and
  2. Fill in the actual deductible expenses in the respective fields provided.

The approved use for my tenanted property was pre-filled as ‘Commercial’. However, the property was actually tenanted out for residential purposes. How do I amend the field for “Approved Use of Property”?

The approved use for your tenanted property was pre-filled based on the permitted use under the Planning Act.

As your property was permitted under the Planning Act to be used for non-residential purposes, you will have to claim actual amount of deductible expenses incurred even if you may have let out the property for residential use.

My tenanted property was permitted under the Planning Act to be used for residential purpose from Jan to Jul and it was changed to non-residential use from Aug onwards. Can I opt to claim for the 15% deemed expenses against the rental income for the whole year?

No, as your property was permitted for non-residential use for part of the basis period, you will have to claim the actual amount of deductible expenses against your rental income.

I have checked the box to opt for claiming deemed expenses. Why did it become unchecked?

The amount of 15% deemed expenses is only applicable for tenanted residential properties. If you only derived rental income from tenanted properties permitted for non-residential use under the Planning Act, this option is not applicable to you.

My tenanted property was permitted under the Planning Act to be used for non-residential purpose. However, it was used for both residential and commercial purposes. Can I opt to claim for the 15% deemed expenses?

No, as long as your property was permitted under the Planning Act to be used for non-residential purpose, you will have to claim the actual expenses.