Whether withholding tax is applicable depends on the residency status of the board director

Board Director

For tax purposes, a board director is a member of the board of directors of a company.

Residency Status of Board Director

Physical presence in Singapore in the year preceding the Year of Assessment (YA)Residency statusWithholding Tax required 
Less than 183 daysNon-ResidentYes, for remuneration paid to non-resident director. For details, refer to Tax Obligations for Non-Resident Director
183 days or moreResidentNo. If tax has been withheld, see also Tax Refund for Resident Director

Executive Director

A board director may also take on an executive role (for example, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman and Managing Director) and is involved in the daily running of the business operations. The remuneration derived by a non-resident director in his capacity as an executive director is not subject to withholding tax.

To understand the tax obligations of foreigners in Singapore holding the position of executive director, please refer to foreigners working in Singapore.

FAQs

Is payment of income made to an executive director subject to withholding tax?

Withholding tax is applicable to payment of income made to a foreign individual in his capacity as a non-resident director.

For payment of income made to the foreign individual in his capacity as an executive director, withholding tax is not applicable.

Instead, the executive director must report his income in the income tax return. A tax bill will be issued to him for payment.