How To File Your Personal Income Tax In Singapore

How To File Your Personal Income Tax In Singapore

Tax season is upon us again. Whether it’s your first time filing taxes, or you need a quick refresher, don’t worry – if you happen to be a tax resident in Singapore, it’s quite a straightforward process. Here’s what you need to know about filing your income tax return.

What are the due dates to file your income tax?

Filing due dates
Paper Filing15 April 2019
e-Filing18 April 2019

How do you know if you have to file taxes?

The filing process depends on your tax residency status. You are considered a tax resident if you stay or work in Singapore:

  1. For at least 183 days in a calendar year; or
  2. For at least 183 days for a continuous period over two years (applies to foreign employees who have entered Singapore from 1 Jan 2007 but excludes directors of a companypublic entertainers or professionals); or
  3. Continuously for three consecutive years.
If you are a non-resident, you can only file your income tax through paper filing – the required form, Form M, is only available in hardcopy. If you do not receive a hardcopy of Form M from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) by 15 March, you should contact them for assistance.

If you’re a tax resident, here’s how to tell if you need to file taxes:

What is the income tax rate for YA2019 in Singapore?

Tax residents in Singapore are subject to a progressive tax rate, as shown below:

Income (S$)
Rate (%)Gross Tax Payable (S$)
On the first20,00000
On the next10,0002.0200
On the first30,000-200
On the next10,0003.5350
On the first40,000-550
On the next40,0007.02,800
On the first80,000-3,350
On the next40,00011.54,600
On the first120,000-7,950
On the next40,000156,000
On the first160,000-13,950
On the next40,000187,200
On the first200,000-21,150
On the next40,000197,600
On the first240,000-28,750
On the next40,00019.57,800
On the first280,000-36,550
On the next40,000208,000
On the first320,000-44,550
For YA 2019, tax residents are entitled to a personal tax rebate of 50% of tax payable, up to maximum of S$200.

If you would like to estimate how much taxes you’ll need to pay, you can use the income tax calculator provided by IRAS to do so.

If you’re a non-resident, your employment income will be taxed at a flat rate of 15% or the progressive resident rates, whichever results in a higher tax amount. Other sources of income, such as director’s fees and rental income will be taxed at 22%. You can use this income tax calculator to estimate how much taxes you’ll need to pay.

How do you file your income tax?

Tax residents can file their income tax online by following these steps:

Step 1: Log in to myTax Portal

Log in to the portal using your SingPass/IRAS PIN. If you don’t have a SingPass, you can register for one online. If you’re not eligible for SingPass, you can apply for an IRAS Unique Account. myTax Portal is mobile-friendly, so don’t worry if you don’t have a computer nearby.

Step 2: Click on the ‘Individuals’ tab, then click on “File Form B/B1”

Step 3: Verify your details

  • You’ll land on a page that lists down your income and personal reliefs.
  • Some information may already be pre-filled. Verify that this information is accurate.
  • Declare any other sources of income, such as dividends, interest and rent from property.

Step 4: Report your tax reliefs

An easy way to (legally) reduce your income tax payments is to simply report your tax reliefs. Here are the tax reliefs available. To see the full list of qualifying conditions for each tax relief, click on the links provided:

Tax reliefsDetails
Course fees reliefYou can claim up to $5,500, if the course(s) meet the qualifying conditions.
CPF cash top-up relief (self or dependant)You can claim up to S$14,000 for topping up your own or a family member’s CPF Special/Retirement Account (maximum S$7,000 for self, and maximum S$7,000 for family members).
CPF Reliefi. For employees
ii. For self-employed, or employees who are also self-employed
iii. Compulsory and Voluntary Medisave contribution
Earned income reliefAmount of earned income relief
S$1,000 (below 55 years old)
S$6,000 (55 to 59)
S$8,000 (above 60 years old)

For handicapped taxpayers
S$4,000 (below 55 years old)
S$10,000 (55 to 59)
S$12,000 (above 60 years old)
Handicapped Brother/Sister ReliefYou can claim $5,500 for each handicapped sibling or sibling-in-law.
Life Insurance reliefIf your compulsory CPF contribution was less than S$5,000, you can claim the lower of:

i) the difference between $5,000 and your CPF contribution; or
ii) up to 7% of the insured value of your own/your wife's life or the amount of insurance premiums paid.
NSman (Self/wife/parent) reliefNSman (self) relief
No in-camp training in previous year:
S$1,500 (Non-Kah) or S$3,500 (KAH)
Attended in-camp training in previous year: S$3,000 (Non-Kah) or S$5,000 (KAH)

NSman (wife/parent) relief
S$750 if your husband/son is an NSman
Parent/handicapped parent reliefYou can claim parent relief/handicapped parent relief for up to 2 dependents:

Staying with you
Parent relief: S$9,000
Handicapped parent relief: S$14,000

Not staying with you
Parent relief: S$5,500
Handicapped parent relief: S$10,000
Grandparent caregiver reliefWorking mothers can claim S$3,000 for one parent, grandparent, parent-in-law or grandparent-in-law who has acted as a caregiver for any of your children who was 12 years old and below in 2018.
SRS tax reliefThe relief amount is the same amount you/your employer have contributed in the previous year, subject to a cap of 15% of your absolute income base for Singaporeans/Singapore Permanent Residents and 35% of your absolute income base for foreigners.
Qualifying/handicapped child reliefQualifying child relief
S$4,000 per child
Handicapped child relief
S$7,500 per handicapped child
Spouse/handicapped spouse reliefIf the income of your spouse in the previous year is S$4,000 or less, you can claim:

S$2,000 for spouse relief
S$5,500 for handicapped spouse relief
Foreign maid levy reliefMarried women can claim twice the total foreign domestic worker levy paid in the previous year on one foreign domestic worker, subject to the following caps:

Normal: S$6,360
Concessionary: S$1,440
Working mother's child relief1st child - 15% of mother’s earned income
2nd child - 20% of mother’s earned income
3rd and each subsequent child - 25% of mother’s earned income

The sum of all child reliefs claimable is subject to a cap of S$50,000 for each child.
Source: IRAS

Step 5: Declare other sources of income

Declare any other sources of income (such as rental income) that are not pre-filled.

Step 6: Receive acknowledgement receipt

That’s it! You will see an acknowledgement page signalling that you have completed the filing process successfully. Save or print a copy of the page for future reference.

If you’ve made an error in your filing, you are allowed to re-file – but only once. You can do so within 14 days of your previous submission or by 18 April, whichever is earlier.

How do you pay your income tax?

There are a few ways you can pay your income tax. For a full list, visit the IRAS website. We’ve pulled out the most convenient ways for you to do so below:

  • GIRO. You can opt for an annual deduction through GIRO, or pay your taxes in interest-free instalments up to 12 months.
  • Internet Banking. You can pay your income tax online through following banks: BOC, CIMB, DBS/POSB, HSBC, ICBC, MayBank, OCBC, RHB, Standard Chartered Bank, State Bank of India, and UOB. You can also pay your taxes online using the DBS PayLah! mobile app.
  • ATMs. You can pay your income tax at DBS/POSB or OCBC ATMs.
  • Credit cards. Not all credit cards will allow you to pay your income tax. However, the ones that do can net you pretty sweet rewards. Every S$1 of income tax that you pay using your HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card, for example, will get you 1 HSBC Rewards point that you can use to redeem air miles or shopping and dining deals.
HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card

HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card

Earn one Rewards point for every S$1 charged to your HSBC credit card when you pay income taxes.

1-for-1 privileges using Entertainer app

Alternatively, you can use a tool like CardUp, which lets you make big payments by credit card, even to recipients that don’t accept them. By doing so, you’ll get to redeem miles or cashback on each tax dollar you pay. While CardUp does charge a 2.6% transaction fee, you can still save if your credit card offers a higher cashback rate.

Here’s how much you can save with a credit card that offers a 5% cashback:

Cashback rate (5%)
CardUp fee (2.6%)
Cashback savings

Interested in earning miles instead? The miles you’ll earn through CardUp will easily outweigh the 2.6% transaction fees. Spending S$1,560 in transaction fees, for instance, means being able to redeem business class flights worth up to S$4,200.

Don’t delay

If you miss the filing deadlines, you can incur late filing fees, be summoned to court, or even be barred from travelling overseas. It’s therefore best to file your taxes as soon as you can.

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