Singapore Income Tax: Tax Residency & Tax Rates 2024

12 min read|Last Updated: January 25, 2024|

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Furthermore, Singapore personal income tax is among the lowest globally, and income sourced from abroad is non-taxable.

4 Things About Singapore Income Tax Every Foreigner Must Know

  • The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)levy tax on income earned from 1 Jan to 31 Dec in each calendar year and income of $0 to $20,000 is at 0% meaning that it is tax free.

  • Singapore income tax rates for residents range from 0% to 22%. Non-residents are taxed at the flat rate of 15% or the resident’s rates whichever is higher
  • Tax authorities impose personal income tax only on income sourced within Singapore. The income earned outside Singapore is exempt from taxation. There is no capital gain tax in Singapore.
  • Taxpayer to file the annual personal income tax returns to IRAS by the 15th of April.

3 Ways Your Income is Liable to Tax in Singapore

The phrase “accruing in or derived from Singapore” in the income tax Act delineates the territorial scope of Singapore’s tax system. Essentially, this provision signifies that Singapore possesses the authority to tax income if its source originates within the boundaries of Singapore.

Moreover, Singapore strategically utilizes deemed-sourced provisions as a proactive approach to eliminate ambiguity associated with applying source rules primarily based on case principles, thereby ensuring greater clarity and consistency in the taxation framework. These provisions establish a source of income in Singapore even where none may exist under general tax law.

Income sourced in Singapore

The Income Tax Act (ITA) contains provisions that deem the source of certain types of income to be in Singapore. These types of income include:

  • royalties
  • technical fees
  • management fees
  • employment income
  • profits of non-resident owners or charterers of ships or aircraft
  • income of non-residents from cable or wireless undertakings, and
  • rent from movable property

Income received in Singapore

The Income Tax Act (ITA) incorporates the term “income received in Singapore,” providing an extended interpretation for income tax purposes. This includes monies or other assets that are:

  • Utilized to settle debts incurred in Singaporean trade or business outside the country;
  • Employed in the acquisition of movable property brought into Singapore
  • The monies or assets involved must represent the taxpayer’s income rather than capital.

Income Accruing in Singapore

Tax authorities typically subject income that accrues within Singapore to taxation. Furthermore, income originating outside Singapore typically remains exempt from Singapore tax unless received by a taxpayer who is either a resident or has a branch or permanent establishment in the country. Nevertheless, this exemption is subject to specific conditions and criteria meticulously outlined by the tax authorities, signifying the importance of adhering to established regulations.

Moving on to the factors influencing the determination of the source of trade or business income, several considerations come into play. These factors, which are not necessarily limited to, play a crucial role in assessing the tax implications:

  • where contracts are entered into and where acts under the contracts are performed;
  • where capital is employed. For instance, owning patents, trademarks, or stocks of goods in Singapore may generate income sourced in Singapore. Notably, these examples illustrate the potential sources of income within the country’s jurisdiction.;
  • where title to goods passes;
  • whether a permanent establishment exists in Singapore.

Singapore Tax Residency – Are you a Tax Resident?

Tax authorities in Singapore categorize taxpayers as residents or non-residents, determining the income tax for foreigners based on their tax residency.

Additionally, if an individual resides and works in Singapore for at least 183 days in a calendar year, they are deemed a Singapore tax resident, impacting their tax obligations.

These are 2 common categories as a non-resident status:

  • Moreover, tax authorities will impose tax on non-residents residing or working in Singapore for 61 to 183 days in a calendar year. This tax is applied at either 15% of their income or the resident tax rate, depending on which is higher..
  • Non-residents living or working in Singapore for less than 60 days do not need to pay Singapore income tax, unless they are…

    • 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.


Singapore Income Tax Rates for Residents

For Singapore tax residents, the income tax rate is progressive from 0-22%. The government plan to increase the maximum income tax rate in Singapore to 24% from YA 2024.

Singapore Income Tax Rates for Non-Residents

Taxes on Employment Income

Tax authorities apply a flat rate of 15% or the progressive resident tax rates, whichever is higher, to the employment income of non-residents.

Taxes on Director’s fee, Consultation fees & All Other Income

From YA 2017, tax authorities have increased the tax rates for non-resident individuals (except for certain reduced final withholding tax rates) from 20% to 22%. This is to maintain parity between the tax rates of non-resident individuals and the top marginal tax rate of resident individuals.


How to calculate my Singapore Income Tax Payable?

As per the Singapore Income Tax Act, Taxable Income is defined as the net income after deducting the following:

  • Expenses, which stands for expenses that are ‘wholly and exclusively’ incurred in the production of your  income in Singapore (Example: Entertainment expenses, Subscriptions paid to professional bodies or Travelling expenses)
  • Donations, which stands for donations to qualified charitable organisations
  • Personal relief, which stands for deductions to encourage social and economic objectives (Examples: Working mother child, Grandparent Caregiver, Course fee and Insurance Relief)

Hence, IRAS has devised a straightforward formula for calculating your overall tax payable.

Total Income (Employment income + other income) – employment expenses – personal reliefs – approved donations = Chargeable Income.

Let’s determine what total income stands for:

Income from Employment Income from Trade, Business, Profession or Vocation
  • Salary, Bonus, Director’s Fee, Commission and Others
  • Gains from the Exercise of Stock Options
  • Income Received from Overseas
  • Pension
  • Retrenchment and Retirement Benefits
  • Income Received through a Partnership or received as a Self-Employed Person or Sole-Proprietor (commission agents, freelancers, taxi drivers, hawkers, etc.)
  • Income Received from Overseas
  • Income Received in the Form of Virtual Currencies
  • Special Employment Credit
  • Wage Credit Payout
  • Jobs Support Scheme
  • COVID-19 Related Payouts
Income from Property or Investments Other Sources of Income
  • Dividends
  • Gains from Sale of Property, Shares & Financial Instruments
  • Interest
  • Rent from Property
  • Annuity (recurring annual payments)
  • Charge (alimony and maintenance payments)
  • Estate / Trust Income
  • National Service Housing, Medical and Education Award
  • Royalty
  • Winnings (Toto, 4D…)
  • Withdrawal from Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS)

Singapore Income Tax Treatment of Income Earned Overseas

In general, overseas income received in Singapore is not taxable. This applies to income brought into Singapore and deposited into a local bank account.

Nevertheless, specific circumstances exist where overseas income becomes taxable.

For example, foreign income received in Singapore through partnerships while working overseas is deemed taxable because it’s considered incidental to your Singapore employment.

Singapore Income Tax Treatment of Employer Benefits

Moreover, tax authorities tax all gains and profits from business, whether local or foreign, unless specifically exempt or covered by administrative concession. Additionally, this includes all benefits, whether monetary or otherwise, related to employment.

Examples of taxable benefits received from your employer include:

  • Overtime payments
  • Fixed monthly meal allowances
  • Fixed monthly allowances for transportation if mileage on private car are reimbursed
  • Car furnished by an employer
  • Accommodation and housing allowance
  • Refunds for medical and dental treatments of dependents other than the income earner, spouse, and children are eligible.
  • Additionally, Per Diem allowances exceeding acceptable rates, such as those on business-related overseas trips, are eligible..

Nevertheless, tax authorities utilize concessionary formulas for specific non-cash benefits, like housing, thus reducing taxation on these benefits-in-kind. Consequently, executives benefit from a compensation package strategically designed to lower their individual tax liability in Singapore.

Here are some examples of the benefits-in-kind received as part of employment:

  • Residential Accommodation
  • Furniture & Furnishings provided
  • Food & Clothing, Hotel Accommodation
  • Home Leave Passage
  • Motor Car, Driver
  • Share Options
  • Interest Subsidy
  • Income Tax paid by Employer
  • Insurance Premium paid by Employer if employee is stated beneficiary in the Policy
  • Subscription, Entrance Fees, Memberships.

Filing Taxes

Tax filing is required by the Law to file Singapore income taxes with IRAS. Hence, all companies must stay compliant by filing their taxes in Singapore.

The completed forms of individual income taxes must be filed by latest the 15th of April. For information related to filing of taxes, we at Paul Hype Page can assist you with them, given our proven track record. Therefore, we encourage you to feel free and reach out to us for any assistance or inquiries.

Assessment of Taxes and Who has to pay taxes

Individuals Earning less than $22,000 (Annual Income)

Individuals Earning More than $22,000 (Annual Income)

You are not required to pay taxes

You will be required to pay taxes

0% Income tax

Progressive rates, capped at 22% depending on how high is your Annual Income*

Both are required to file taxes with IRAS

*You may estimate your gross tax rate based on a table from IRAS

Submission of Personal Taxes

You can file your personal taxes online.

Alternatively, you may choose to file your personal taxes via mail. You can see the various forms and different purposes in this table below.

Form Name Who is it for
Form B1 Employed Individuals
Form B Self Employed, Sole Proprietors
Form M Non-Resident

After filing your personal income tax returns, you will receive your Notice of Assessment (NOA) or tax bill by September. The tax bill will indicate the amount of tax you have to pay.

Nevertheless, in case of disagreement with your tax amount, promptly notify the tax department within 30 days from your tax bill date, stating your reasons for objection.

Subsequently, within 30 days of receiving your Notice of Assessment, you must pay the full tax amount, irrespective of whether you have informed the tax authority about your objection. Furthermore, penalty charges apply if your tax remains outstanding after 30 days.

Which Period is your Income being Taxed

In Singapore, income tax in the year of assessment (YA) is calculated based on the income in the previous financial or calendar year.

Year of Assessment (YA): The YA is the year in which income tax is calculated and charged. Each YA begins on 1 January and ends on 31 December.

Basis Period: The basis period is the calendar year preceding that YA.

Eg. You can calculate the personal income tax of the calendar Year of 2010 based on the income earned between 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2009.

Moreover, Companies are allowed to adopt a different financial year other than a calendar year. A different basis period applies to businesses whose financial year end is not 31 December.

Eg. If you company has a June financial year end, the basis period for YA2010 is from 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009. In this case, the income earned in this period is subject to tax in the year 2010 (YA2010).

How Tax Planning May Reduce Your Income Tax Burden?

In Singapore, there are five ways by which a taxpayer may save money on taxes to be paid.

1. Firstly, If the taxpayer is a tax resident, the taxpayer is entitled to certain tax reliefs and deductions. Residents can claim tax relief, including:

  • Life Insurance Relief,
  • Earned Income Relief, and
  • Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) Relief.

Indeed, taxpayers can also claim deductions for expenses related to employment, business, certain types of donations, rental, research and development (R&D) expenditure, or various other categories.

2. Secondly, If the taxpayer is not a Singapore tax resident, the taxpayer may use Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) to avoid being taxed in both the taxpayer’s country of residence and Singapore.

A DTA specifies all taxing rights between Singapore and the other country involved regarding income generated from economic activities between the two countries. Only tax residents of Singapore or the partner country may benefit from the effects of the DTA.

3. Thirdly, By utilizing the Not Ordinarily Resident (NOR) scheme, a taxpayer could benefit from either Tax Exemption of Employer’s contributions to Overseas Pension Fund, Time Apportionment of Singapore employment income, or both.

A taxpayer qualifies for the NOR scheme if the taxpayer had not been a Singapore tax resident for the entirety of the three-year period before the YA in which the taxpayer applies for the scheme. The taxpayer must also be a tax resident during the current YA in order to be eligible. A taxpayer with NOR status will have it for five years.

4. Lastly, A taxpayer may claim any expenses incurred against the taxpayer’s employment income and benefit from tax deductions for any approved charitable donations.

Tax-deductible donations include donations of cash, shares, land, buildings, or artefacts to approved bodies or organizations. The taxpayer can claim a tax deduction equal to 250% of the value of the donation made.


For foreigners setting up businesses or individuals planning personal tax strategies, you can reach out to us for more information. Singapore provides legitimate options for international tax planning under OECD’s common reporting standards and automatic exchange of information among tax authorities.


Come to our office or get in touch virtually for a consultation on your company taxation, and other corporate services today.


What if you are a Singapore tax resident? What If you receive foreign income?2020-07-01T11:16:54+08:00

When your company earns foreign income from a treaty country, you may wish to claim the benefits under the DTA that entitles a company not to pay tax or to pay tax at a reduced rate in the foreign country. To enjoy this benefit, you would need to submit a COR to the foreign country to prove that the company is a Singapore tax resident. To find out more about the application process, please refer to Applying for Certificate of Residence.

When you receive foreign income in Singapore, you may be taxed on the income. In the case where the benefit under the DTA is not an exemption of tax, but a reduction of tax rate, the Singapore company will also suffer tax in the foreign country. In this way, the same income is subjected to taxation twice.

The DTA provides relief for this double taxation by allowing the Singapore company to claim a credit of the foreign tax suffered against its Singapore tax payable on the same income. This credit is known as a double tax relief (DTR). To find out more about this relief, please refer to Claiming Double Tax Relief.

How Much Personal Income Tax do Non-residents have to Pay?2020-06-17T11:28:57+08:00

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.

How Singapore Personal Income is Assessed?2023-10-31T19:13:57+08:00

Income is assessed on a preceding year basis. This means that the basis period for any Year of Assessment (YA) generally refers to the financial year ending in the year preceding the YA.

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