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 2018
e-Filing18 April 2018

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 YA2018 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

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 PIN. 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
Earned income reliefS$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)
Spouse/handicapped spouse reliefIf the income of your spouse in the previous year S$4,000 or less, you can claim:

S$2,000 for spouse relief
S$5,500 for handicapped spouse relief
Qualifying/handicapped child reliefQualifying child relief
S$4,000 per child
Handicapped child relief
S$7,500 per handicapped child
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

Cumulative percentages are capped at 100% of mother’s earned income.

The sum of all child reliefs claimable is subject to a cap of $50,000 for each child.
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 2017.
Handicapped brother/sister reliefYou can claim $5,500 for each handicapped sibling or sibling-in-law.
CPF/provident Fund reliefYou can only claim CPF Relief if your employee CPF contributions have not exceeded the Ordinary Wage Ceiling (S$6,000 per month) and Additional Wage Ceiling ($102,000 less Total Ordinary Wages).
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.
Course fees reliefYou can claim up to $5,500, if the course(s) meet the qualifying conditions.
Foreign maid levy reliefMarried woman 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
CPF cash top-up relief (self, dependant and Medisave account)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).
Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) reliefThe relief amount is the same amount you/your employer have contributed in the previous year, subject to a cap of S$15,300 for a Singaporean/Singapore Permanent Resident and S$35,700 for a foreigner.
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
Source: IRAS
Starting from YA2018, there will be a personal relief cap of S$80,000.

Step 5: 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 Apr 2018, 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 Revolution 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 Revolution Credit Card

HSBC Revolution Credit Card

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

5x rewards on dining, entertainment and online transactions

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, or even be summoned to court, where you may be fined up to S$1,000 or imprisoned for up to six months. It’s therefore best to file your taxes as soon as you can.

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