How to file your 2024 income tax in Singapore

Earned money in the island state? Discover the ins and outs of income tax in Singapore, including deadlines, rates, and allowable deductions.

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By Stephen Maunder

Updated 18-3-2024

If you’re moving to Singapore for work, you’ll need to get your head around the country’s tax system. The good news is that the city-state has low-income tax rates for residents, and its online filing system makes it easy to submit your annual tax return.

Learn how you can file your income tax in Singapore in the following sections:

Income tax in Singapore: overview and latest developments

Personal income tax is a part of your salary that must be paid to the government so it can fund things like road infrastructure, security (i.e., police), and public education.

Person sending in a letter with their Singapore income tax filings.

Photo: ProjectManhattan/Wikimedia Commons
Photo: ProjectManhattan/Wikimedia Commons

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) oversees the country’s tax system, and the tax year runs in line with the calendar year (i.e., 1 January to 31 December).

Singapore has low-income tax rates. Presently, residents pay between 0% and 24%, and non-residents pay between 15% and 24%. Social security contributions are made separately.

Income tax in Singapore isn’t withheld by employers when you get paid. Instead, you’ll need to file a tax return and pay the amount owed yourself. Tax returns must be filed individually – joint returns are not an option. Annual tax returns are due on 15 April (paper returns) or 18 April (online returns).

Income tax in Singapore is payable on the following forms of income:

  • Employed income – salaries are taxable at the standard progressive rates of 0% to 24%. Bonuses are also taxable, though the rules vary depending on the type of bonus.
  • Self-employed income – people working as self-employed sole traders or in partnerships must pay income tax on their profits at the standard progressive rates.
  • Business income businesses operating in Singapore are subject to corporate tax at a rate of 17%
  • Retirement benefits/pension funds – residents don’t need to pay income tax on government pensions. However, contributions to other approved pension plans made since 1993 are taxable, and must be declared on tax returns.
  • Savings and investments: Interest on money put into a Singaporean bank account is tax-free. However, interest on deposits into foreign or non-approved banks is taxable and must be declared. Singapore has no capital gains tax (i.e., the tax you pay when you sell an investment). Sales of shares are usually tax-free as long as they are considered personal investments. Company dividends of shareholders and gambling winnings are also tax-free.
  • Rental income: income tax is payable at the standard rates. You’ll need to specify the amount of rental income, your total expenses, and a final taxable figure.

Latest news about income taxes in Singapore in 2024

Any upcoming tax reforms are announced as part of the annual Budget, which is usually published in mid-February.

The only notable change to income tax in the 2024 Budget was the introduction of a new tax rebate. Taking into account the rising cost of living, the government is granting a 50% income tax rebate to all tax residents for 2024, capped at S$200. You can learn more about the other key announcements from the Budget in the IRAS guide.

Tax rates: how much tax will I pay in Singapore in 2024?

There are 13 income tax bands for tax residents in Singapore. The rates for 2024 are as follows:

IncomeTax rate
Up to S$20,0000%
S$20,000 – S$30,0002%
S$30,000 – S$40,0003.5%
S$40,000 – S$80,0007%
S$80,000 – S$120,00011.5%
S$120,000 – S$160,00015%
S$160,000 – S$200,00018%
S$200,000 – S$240,00019%
S$240,000 – S$280,00019.5%
S$280,000 – S$320,00020%
S$320,000 – S$500,00022%
S$500,000 – S$1 million23%
Over S$1 million24%

Who pays income tax in Singapore?

Who needs to file a tax return in Singapore?

Generally speaking, if you earn money in Singapore, you must pay income tax. Exactly how much, however, depends in part on your residency status. In principle, you’ll need to file a tax return if:

  • You earned more than S$22,000 in the previous calendar year
  • You made a profit of at least S$6,000 from self-employment
  • You’re a non-resident but have derived income from Singapore

Singaporean income tax for foreigners

To go into a little more detail, if you lived in Singapore for at least 183 days in the last calendar year, you are considered a tax resident. Foreigners working for three consecutive calendar years (even if they move in and out of the country) are also considered tax residents. Tax residents pay Singapore’s standard tax rates and can benefit from certain deductions, but more on that below.

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Photo: 10’000 Hours/Getty Images

If you live in Singapore for less than 183 days a year, you are considered a non-resident. You’ll pay tax on income earned in Singapore at a flat rate of 15% or via the progressive system, whichever results in a higher tax bill. Non-resident company directors automatically pay the top rate of 24%.

Non-residents who work in Singapore for less than 60 days a year are generally exempt from paying income tax, though there are some exceptions. If you fall into this category, you should contact the IRAS for advice.

Additionally, some non-residents benefit from the ‘Not Ordinarily Resident’ (NOR) program, which offers tax concessions for up to five years. The program is set to close in 2024, though people with existing NOR status will keep it until its planned expiry date.

Singapore has around 100 double taxation treaties with other countries. The exact rules vary per agreement. For more information, you can visit the IRAS website.

Who is exempt from Singapore income tax?

Not all earnings are subject to income tax. For example, retirees don’t have to pay income tax on their government pensions.

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Photo: justhavealook/Getty Images

Tax residents who earn less than S$20,000 in a calendar year don’t need to pay income tax on their earnings. Non-residents working in Singapore for less than 60 days in a calendar year are also exempt unless they are employed as a company director.

How do you file your tax return in Singapore?

Anyone who earns more than S$22,000 or makes profits from self-employment greater than S$6,000 must file a return. This also applies to non-residents who earn their income in Singapore.

How to register for tax in Singapore?

You’ll need to get a Tax Reference Number (TRN) to pay income tax in Singapore. You can apply for this by registering on the IRAS website using your national registration card or foreign identification number (FIN).

Which forms do I need to fill out?

You can file your tax return on paper or online. When you choose to file a paper return, you’ll need to inform the IRAS. You will receive your return in February or March. Which form you’ll need to complete depends on your status:

  • Tax residents: Form B1
  • Self-employed workers: Form B
  • Non-residents: Form M

The IRAS website provides more information on how to complete these forms.

When you want to file your return online, you can use the myTax portal. You should also download the Singpass mobile app to set up two-factor authentication for extra safety.

The deadline for paper returns is 15 April. The window for online returns runs from 1 March until 18 April.

Presently, Singapore is in the process of rolling out an Auto Inclusion Scheme (AIS). This allows standard employment income to be auto-included in people’s online tax returns form. In other words, it’ll be quicker and easier to submit the return online. Currently, all companies with five or more employees must be signed up. Taxpayers can preview auto-included income online from 1 March to 18 April.

Some residents may be told by the IRAS that they qualify for the no-filing service (NFS). This applies to certain employees with simple returns that consist exclusively of auto-included job income. When you’re chosen for the NFS, you will receive an assessment by the end of April. You must inform the IRAS online or via email if there’s an error.

Deductibles and tax relief

Depending on your situation, you may be able to claim a tax allowance or deduction. For example, parents can benefit from a one-off lump sum tax rebate of S$5,000 to S$20,000 per child.

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East Coast Park in Singapore (Photo: Carlina Teteris/Getty Images)

You can claim the following tax allowances and deductions:

  • Charity contributions – relief is available for up to 2.5 times the sum of donations made to an approved institution or the government for community causes
  • Earned income relief – taxpayers can benefit from a standard deduction:
    • S$1,000 for people under 55
    • S$6,000 for people aged 55-59
    • S$8,000 for people aged 60+
    • If you have a registered disability, the deductions are S$4,000, S$10,000, and S$12,000
  • Landlord allowance – expenses incurred in renting out properties (e.g., the cost of securing tenants and maintenance) can be offset against your tax bill. You can either claim a flat 15% allowance on the gross rent or offset your incurred costs. The IRAS provides a calculator.
  • National Servicemen Relief – residents who’ve completed full-time national service are eligible for NSman relief. NSman wife and NSman parent relief are also available.
  • Pension relief – under the Central Provident Fund Relief system, pension contributions qualify for relief of up to S$6,000 a month (S$8,000 by 2026). Calculations are different for self-employed people.
  • Rebates for mothers – three reliefs may be available to taxpaying mothers:
  • Remote working costs – if you’re required to work from home, you can claim back the portion of your bills (e.g., electricity and gas)
  • Spouse relief – if your spouse earns up to S$4,000 a year, you can claim a relief of S$2,000. This rises to S$5,500 for spouses living with a disability.

Taxpayers in Singapore can deduct up to a maximum of S$80,000 per year.

Are there any tax allowances for self-employed workers?

Singapore asks that self-employed workers report their income as business income. The IRAS provides a guide to help you discover whether you classify as self-employed. As a self-employed person, you can set your own 12-month accounting period – the period for which you calculate your profits and losses. Many sole traders choose the standard calendar year.

Self-employed workers can deduct a range of business expenses from their tax returns, such as staff, financial, professional, and running costs. The IRAS provides full details. You’ll need to provide receipts for any deductions you want to claim.

When filing your return, you’ll need to prepare a statement of accounts, including your profits and losses. If you make less than S$200,000 a year in revenue, you can provide a two-line statement consisting of your revenue and profit/loss. If you make more than S$200,000, you’ll need to provide a four-line statement of revenue, profit/loss, expenses, and adjusted profit/loss.

How do I pay my Singaporean income tax?

The IRAS recommends you pay any tax owed via bank GIRO transfer. You can pay your tax bill in one lump sum or split it into 12 interest-free monthly payments.

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Photo: Carlina Teteris/Getty Images

Income tax refunds

If you’re owed a tax refund, the IRAS will automatically credit it to you within 30 days via the GIRO or PayNow system. You can check whether you’ll get anything back by logging into the myTax portal. Refunds of less than S$15 are set against your future tax liabilities rather than refunded to your bank account.

What happens if I don’t pay my income tax on time?

If you make an error on your tax return, you may face a penalty. If the error is deemed accidental, the maximum fine is 200% of the tax owed (i.e., up to S$5,000). In extreme cases, you can face imprisonment of up to three years. The maximum penalties for deliberate evasion are 400% (i.e., up to S$50,000) and imprisonment of up to five years.

For less serious accidental errors, you can make a voluntary disclosure and pay your penalties without further action.

Failing to pay tax on time results in a penalty of 5% of the tax owed. That means if you owe S$3,000 in tax, the penalty will be S$150. After 60 days, an additional 1% will be applied each month up to a maximum of 12%. You can make an appeal via the IRAS website.If you will have problems paying your tax, you can also apply for a payment plan.

Income tax advice in Singapore

If you have specific questions about filing your income tax return in Singapore, you should consider taking advice from an English-speaking professional. As a starting point, check out our directory.

Be sure to hire a tax professional who is accredited by the Singapore Chartered Tax Professionals (SCTP). The Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) is the main trade body for accountancy professionals.

Useful resources