A tax-residency status for expatriates in Singapore

It does not matter if a foreigner resides in Singapore to study or work, the first step is always to apply for a visa at the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM). In previous articles, ACE Global Accountants has guided you on how to apply for a visa in Singapore.

Hence, the following article will share the next concern of many foreigners who intend to relocate to Singapore to work and reside in. That is a tax-residency of expatriates working in Singapore.

Tax obligation of expatriates in Singapore

  • You are regarded as a tax resident if your period of stay (inclusive of work) in Singapore is 183 days or more in a calendar year.
  • You are regarded as a non-resident for tax purposes if your period of stay (inclusive of work) in Singapore is less than 183 days in a calendar year.

Do note the number of staying and working days in Singapore includes public holidays and weekends. Temporary absences (vacation in a foreign country) or accidental work-off (business trips abroad) are still counted in the total number of working days to determine the tax residency status.

Tax regulations of expatriates in Singapore

A tax resident in Singapore

Period of stay (inclusive of work) in Singapore

Tax-resident status

Tax liability

At least 183 days in a year

Tax resident for that year

Income taxed at progressive resident rates

At least 183 days for a continuous period over two years

Tax resident for two years

Income taxed at progressive resident rates

At least 183 days for a continuous period over three years

Tax resident for three years

Income taxed at progressive resident rates

As the tax resident, you are required to pay taxes from the following sources of income:

  • All income earned in Singapore;
  • Personal income after deduction of tax exemptions will be taxed at progressive resident rates (whichever results in a higher tax amount); and
  • Income derived from abroad (except for those received through partners in Singapore) brought into Singapore after January 1, 2004, is exempt from tax.

Filling out Form B1 (An income tax return for tax resident) to pay personal income tax.

A non-resident of Singapore for tax purposes

Period of stay (inclusive of work) in Singapore

Tax-resident status

Tax liability

From 62 to 182 days 

No

Income taxed at 15% or progressive resident rates. You are not entitled to tax reliefs. 

Less than 60 days

No

Your short-term employment income is exempt from tax. However, if you are a director of a company or a public entertainer, your income is not exempted from tax. You are not entitled to tax reliefs.

As the non-resident, you are required to pay taxes according to the following income:

  • Total income earned from Singapore;
  • Do not receive tax exemptions;
  • A flat rate of 15% or the progressive resident rates (whichever results in a higher tax amount);
  • Director’s fees or other income like renting or earning from Singapore will be taxed at the rate of 22%; and

Filling in Form M (An income tax return for non-resident of tax purposes in Singapore).

For more information, contact us to get a free consultation!

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