Every taxpayer in Singapore is regarded as either a tax resident or non-resident. Residents and non-residents are subject to different income tax rates and regulations. Although some non-residents may become residents by living or working in Singapore for at least 183 days of a calendar year or by becoming a citizen or permanent resident of Singapore, many non-residents never do so, and therefore must be taxed as such.
A person is not regarded as a tax resident if the person has not lived or worked in Singapore for at least 183 days of a calendar year. If a non-resident has lived or worked in Singapore for between 61 and 183 days of a calendar year, the non-resident is taxed at either 15% of their income or the resident tax rate, whichever is higher. The resident tax rate is progressive, reaching a maximum of 22% – a rate imposed on those who earn at least S$320,000 in chargeable income per year. If a non-resident has lived or worked in Singapore for less than 60 days, the non-resident does not have to pay any personal income tax unless the non-resident is a director of a company, a non-resident professional (NRP), or a non-resident public entertainer (NRPE), or if the non-resident’s absences from Singapore are a result of the non-resident’s Singapore employment.
Certain forms of income earned by non-residents are neither taxed at a flat rate of 15% or at the progressive resident tax rates. The remuneration of a non-resident director, Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) withdrawals made by non-citizen SRS members, and property rental income are all taxed at a rate of 22%. Any income earned from activity as an NRP, a category which includes people such as consultants, trainers, speakers, academics, and coaches, is taxed at either 15% of the NRP’s gross income or 22% of the NRP’s net income. The NRP may select at which rate tax will be imposed. Any income earned from activity as an NRPE, a category which includes the likes of musicians, actors, and athletes, is taxed at a 10% concessionary rate. Interest and royalties earned by non-residents are taxed at 15% and 10% respectively if reduced final withholding tax rates apply, or 22% apiece if they do not.