The majority of payers file and pay their withholding tax on time. The filing and payment due date is 15th of the second month from the date of payment to the non-resident. You may face penalties and enforcement actions for late or non-payment of taxes.

Consequences for late payment or non-payment of taxes

IRAS may take the following actions if you fail to pay by the due date:

  1. Impose late payment penalties
  2. Appoint agents like your bank, tenant or lawyer (handling the sale of any of your property) to recover the overdue tax
  3. For sole proprietors or partners, we can issue a Travel Restriction Order (TRO) to stop you from leaving Singapore
  4. Take legal action

The above list is not exhaustive.

Late payment penalty

A 5% late payment penalty will be imposed if payment is not received by the due date.

Example: Penalty imposed for late payment

Date of payment to the non-resident for the gross royalty of $10,000 is on 7 Apr 2021. The tax payable is $1,000 (10% x $10,000). A 5% penalty of $50 (5% x $1,000) is imposed when tax is not paid by 15 Jun 2021.

Date of payment to non-residentFiling and payment due dateDate payer filed and paid taxTax payable5% Penalty imposed
7 Apr 2115 Jun 2128 Jun 21$1,000$50

If the tax remains unpaid 30 days after the payment due date, an additional penalty of 1% per month may be imposed for every completed month, up to a maximum of 15% of the unpaid tax, that the tax remains unpaid.

Example: Penalty imposed for continued late payment

Date of payment to the non-resident is on 26 Dec 2020, hence the tax payable of $7,000 is due on 15 Feb 2021. Payer did not pay the tax by the due date and received a late payment penalty notice with 5% penalty added to the overdue tax.

Payer eventually paid the tax and penalties on 25 May 2021.

As the tax was unpaid for 2 completed months (i.e. Apr 2021 to May 2021) after 30 days from the payment due date, 1% penalty is imposed for each completed month that the tax remained unpaid.

The total penalty imposed would be $490 [ (5% penalty x $7,000) + (1% additional penalty x $7,000 x 2 months)].

Date of payment to non-residentFiling and payment due datePayment dateTax payable5% Penalty ImposeAdditional 1% penalty imposed
26 Dec 202015 Feb 202125 May 2021$7,000

$350

($7,000 x 5%)

$140

($7,000 x 1% x 2 months)

Appealing for waiver of late payment penalty

Appeals must be made via Request for S45 WHT Penalty Waiver.

Appeals will only be considered if:

  1. You have paid the overdue tax in full; and
  2. No waiver has been granted in the past 2 calendar years or you have paid on time in the past 2 years; and
  3. You undertake to pay your tax by the due date in future. This includes taking measures to ensure that late payment will not happen again, such as signing up for GIRO.

We will process your request within 15 working days.

Appointment of agents

If the tax remains unpaid, IRAS may appoint agents like your bank, tenant, lawyer or other 3rd parties with money due to you to recover the overdue tax owing.

When your bank is appointed as agent, you will experience inconvenience in using your bank accounts (e.g. being unable to access your bank accounts) until you have fully paid your tax.

Requests made for the release of your bank as the agent appointment after 12pm on weekdays will only be processed on the next working day while requests cannot be processed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.

Agents will be released from the appointment only after the tax and penalties have been paid in full.

Travel restrictions

If you are a sole proprietor or a partner, a Travel Restriction Order (TRO) can be issued, and you cannot travel out of Singapore until you pay the tax in full.

View and retrieve the Notification for Release of TRO via mytax.iras.gov.sg 2 working days after your payment has been received to facilitate your travel at the immigration checkpoints when you leave Singapore. The notification will also be mailed to you within 10 days.

For non-NRIC holders, please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that you have a valid pass to remain in Singapore. Please approach the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to extend your stay in Singapore if you require more time to resolve your tax matters with IRAS. It is an offence to overstay in Singapore.

Making payment

You can make WHT payments through the various payment modes.

GIRO cancellation or termination

You are advised to maintain enough funds in your bank account. If the GIRO deduction is unsuccessful due to insufficient funds in the bank account, or incorrect limit set, etc., IRAS will cancel the GIRO plan. The balance of the unpaid taxes becomes due and payable immediately. You may be imposed a penalty if you do not settle the unpaid taxes promptly.