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Singapore’s pro-enterprise landscape is reflected in its approach to taxation.

Our tax rates for companies are some of the lowest among developed countries, an attractive feature for foreign investors. The tax system is well-regulated and administered by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).

Personal Income Tax

The amount of personal income tax payable depends on whether you are a tax resident or non-resident, and the income you earn. Singapore has a progressive tax structure, so the less your taxable income, the less you pay. After deducting personal relief, personal income tax rates are between 0-22%. To find out more about Singapore’s tax rates, visit the IRAS website.

A tax resident is someone who:

  • Is a permanent resident; or
  • Has been in Singapore for at least 183 days in a calendar year; or
  • Has been physically present or working in Singapore for three consecutive years, even if the number of days spent in Singapore in the first and third year are fewer than 183 days.

All others are considered non-residents.

Tax residents are taxed on any income earned in Singapore. Overseas income that is tied to employment in Singapore and brought into the country is taxable. Otherwise, your global sources of income are not taxed.

Tax residents are entitled to personal reliefs, for matters such as children, professional course fees, insurance premiums and contributions to the Central Provident Fund (CPF). Here is more information about personal reliefs.

Non-residents are exempted from paying income tax if they have been employed for 60 days or less in a calendar year, unless they are directors, public entertainers, or practising a profession in Singapore. Non-residents are taxed only on income earned in Singapore at a flat rate of 15% or the resident rates, whichever is higher, and may not claim for personal reliefs.

For more information, visit the IRAS website.

Corporate Tax

All payouts or profits from investments in Singapore are subject to income tax, unless they are specifically exempted under the Income Tax Act. These include rental income, dividends from shares and unit trusts, and interest from fixed deposits. The IRAS website provides more information.

Both local and foreign companies are taxed on income earned in Singapore as well as overseas income that is brought into Singapore. For a look at current tax rates, visit the IRAS website.

Taxation on resident and non-resident companies is similar, except resident companies enjoy additional benefits, such as:

  • Protection from double taxation under the agreements Singapore has drawn up with certain countries.
  • Tax exemption on foreign-sourced dividends, foreign branch profits, and foreign-sourced service income.
  • Tax exemption for new start-up companies for up to three years.

A company is considered tax resident in Singapore when its control and management are exercised in Singapore. For instance, a Singapore branch of a foreign company is usually not considered a Singapore tax resident.

Withholding Tax

Certain payments to a non-resident company require withholding of tax. These payment types include interest or fees in connection to loans, royalties, management fees and rent.

From 15 February 2008, estate duty is no longer payable for deaths.

For more information, visit the IRAS website.