Income earned by non-resident professionals is subject to withholding tax.

Withholding Tax

The non-resident professional's income attributable to services rendered in Singapore is subject to withholding tax at:

a) 15% of the gross income/fees payable to the non-resident professional; OR

b) the non-resident rate of 22% (20% for period of engagement prior to 1 Jan 2016) if the non-resident professional has elected to be taxed on net income.

The payer must:

  1. e-File via myTax Portal and select the nature of payment ‘For payment to non-resident individual/firms exercising profession/vocation in Singapore’ for non-resident professional; and
  2. Pay the withholding tax by the 15th of the second month from the date of payment to the non-resident professional.

Filing Tax Returns

The non-resident professional does not need to file any tax return as the payer has

  • withheld tax at source
  • e-filed the withholding tax and
  • paid the withholding tax amount to IRAS

If the non-resident professional has received a tax return/bill and is only in receipt of income as a non-resident professional, please contact us to review the tax return/bill sent and forward the Confirmation of Payment (CP) letter on the tax remitted. See FAQ #3.

FAQs

#1 Fees Paid Outside Singapore

I am engaged by a foreign consulting firm to render my services in Singapore. Will my consultation fees be taxed in Singapore if the fees are paid to me outside Singapore?

Yes. You are liable to pay Singapore tax for the professional services rendered in Singapore. It does not matter where you are paid.

#2 Professionals Engaged by the Government

#3 Professionals Invited by Universities

I am invited by a university in Singapore to participate in a seminar in Singapore. I will be provided with per diem, airfare and hotel accommodation. Am I liable to Singapore income tax?

You are liable to Singapore income tax on the per diem, airfare and hotel accommodation provided to you. 

If your period(s) of engagement in Singapore is 60 days or less in the same calendar year, you may elect to be taxed at 22% of net income.

Under this option, the airfare and accommodation provided are not taxable as a concession. The payer only needs to withhold tax at 22% on the amount of per diem paid.

#4 Professionals Conducting Seminars/Workshops/Research Outside Singapore

I am engaged by a company in Singapore to conduct seminars/workshops wholly outside Singapore. In addition, I do some research work for the Singapore company outside Singapore. The discussions are done via tele-conference and the research report is submitted via email to the company. Is my income taxable?

No, you will not be taxed on the income attributable to services rendered wholly outside Singapore even though your income may be paid by a company in Singapore. Your payer does not need to withhold tax on the fee paid.

#5 Professional Attending Job Interview in Singapore

I am provided with airfare and accommodation for attending a job interview in Singapore. Is this subject to Withholding Tax?

No, unless the income/benefits are attributable to services (e.g. give a seminar/presentation, involved in meeting/discussion) performed by the foreign consultant.

#6 Professional Participating in a Seminar

I am here to participate in a seminar in Singapore. Is the per diem provided to me subject to Withholding Tax?

Yes, as you are exercising a profession through your attendance in the seminar.

#7 Non-Residents and Filing of Tax Forms

My period of engagement is 45 days. The payer has deducted 15% tax from the fee paid to me. Do I need to file the tax return issued to me?

As your physical stay in Singapore is less than 183 days, you will be treated as a non-resident for income tax purposes. If this is the only fee you have received for the year, you do not need to file the tax return if your payer has e-filed the withholding tax and remitted the 15% withholding tax.

 If you have received a tax return/bill, please forward the Confirmation of Payment (CP)  letter for our review.