Singapore tax system: audit, reporting and optimization of taxation of Singapore companies and individuals: VAT, income tax and capital gains

Basic taxes (briefly)

Personal tax 2-22%
Corporate tax (in detail) The income tax rate is 17%. Partial tax exemptions up to certain small amounts and other benefits apply
Capital gains tax. Details
VAT. Details Goods and Services Tax - GST is an indirect tax similar to VAT. The GST rate is 7%
Other taxes Social contributions, Property tax
Government fee S$20
Stamp duty 0,2-4%

International tax agreement

Albania, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man , Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Kazakhstan, Korea (Republic of), Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

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Personal tax

Personal income tax in Singapore is paid once a year and calculated at progressive rate from 0% to 20%:
Income Tax Rate First20 000 0% Next 10 000 2% Next 10 000 3.5% Next 40 000 7% Next 40 000 11.5% Next 40 000 15% Next 40 000 17% Next 40 000 18% Above 320 000 20%
Tax tear (Year of Assessment) coincides with a calendar year. Deadline for application for personal tax return is April, 15. Taxation is based on principle of source, i.e. only incomes earned or obtained in Singapore are taxable. For non-residents personal tax is levied at a fixed rate of 15%.

Corporate tax

The Singapore taxation system is territorial in nature, with tax levied on income arising in or derived from Singapore. Profits tax is levied at a rate of 17%. The existing rate is normally lower thanks to tax exemptions. For example, if a company has no more than 20 shareholders, all of which are individuals with shares in their names, or at least one individual shareholder with at least 10% of all shares, the first 100 thousand SGD in the first three years of business activity are exempt from corporate tax. Income of no more than 300 thousand dollars is taxable at rate of 8.5%. If income exceeds 300 thousand, the tax is levied at normal rate. Besides, to help companies cope with rising business costs, the Minister for Finance has announced that, for the Years 2013, 2014 and 2015, resident companies will receive a 30% Corporate Income Tax Rebate that is subject to a cap of $30,000 per year. There are also tax deductions for various business expenses in Singapore. Rent, employee wages, accounting fees and other expenses are exempt from tax. Purchase of fixed assets for the company also enjoys some tax deductions.

Capital gains tax

Capital gains are not taxable in Singapore.


There is no Value Added Tax in Singapore, but there is a very similar Goods and Services Tax (GST) which is imposed on goods and services supply and import. Tax rate is 7%. GST is an indirect tax levied on the final buyer; therefore this tax is not a part of expenses for a company. Goods and international services export as well as sales or lease of residential properties and financial services are not taxable. Registration of Singaporean company as a taxpayer of GST can be compulsory or voluntary. It is compulsory to register for GST collect if the annual turnover of a company exceeds or is likely to exceed S$1 million from the sale of taxable goods and services. If you are not registered on time, a fine will be imposed. You can apply for exemption from GST registration if more than 90% of your goods or services are exported or supplied internationally ("zero-rated supplies"), even if your annual turnover exceeds registration limit.

Withholding tax

Withholding tax in Singapore is levied on the following specific payments made to non-residents of Singapore:
  • interest, commission, debt payments – 15%; royalty and other payments for utility rights for any kind of fixed assets – 10%; business managing fee – corporate tax rate; service fee (technical support, consulting, etc.) – corporate tax rate; rent paid to non-resident – 15%.
Resident companies are exempt from tax on dividends, obtained form foreign source, foreign branch income and income from payment for services provided abroad. For individual non-residents tax rate is 15%.

Other taxes and duties

Property Tax imposed on owners of properties based on the expected rental values of the properties. Tax rate is 10%. Motor Vehicle Taxes imposed on imported motor vehicles, imposed to curb car ownership and road congestion. Customs & Excise Duties excise duties are imposed principally on tobacco, petroleum products and liquors. Import duties are mainly on motor vehicles, tobacco, liquor and petroleum products. Betting Taxes duties on private lottery, betting & sweepstake. Casino Tax levied on the casinos’ gross gaming revenue. Foreign Worker Levy imposed to regulate the employment of foreign workers in Singapore. Airport Passenger Service Charge imposed on passenger service and passenger security service, totals $S34. CPF contribution contribution to Central Provident Fund (CPF) at rate of maximum 16% for company and 20% for employee monthly, if salary is more than S$50 a month. Rates can be lower depending on various factors (age of an employee, permanent resident, etc.). Foreign employees do not pay this contribution.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is imposed on commercial and legal documents relating to stock & shares and immovable property. You can stamp your documents before or after executing (legally signing) them. For documents executed in Singapore, they must be stamped within 14 days of execution. For documents executed abroad, they must be stamped within 30 days of receiving them in Singapore. If you fail to stamp your documents, you may be fined up to S$10,000 or imprisoned up to 3 years or both. The amount of stamp duty you have to pay depends on the value of the transaction. There are different rates charged for purchase, gift, lease, transfer and mortgage of immovable property, stocks and shares.

Foreign exchange control

There is no control over currency exchange operations and restrictions on profit repatriation in Singapore.

Government fee

There is no annual government fee per se, but there is a business registration fee and Annula Return Filing Fee which is due annually by every registered business in Singapore. Registration fee of private limited companies includes:
Name Approval Fee S$15 Registration Fee S$300
Annual Return Filing Fee is S$20.


Annual Return

Each year the company registered in Singapore must prepare and file to Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority Annual return signed by director and secretary within one month since Annual General Meeting. Annual Return Filing Fee is S$20. Annual General Meeting shall be held within 18 months since company incorporation, subsequent AGMs must be held every calendar year and the interval between AGMs should not be more than 15 months. At AGM directors submit annual financial report to shareholders. Annual return should include information on directors, secretary, shareholders, share capital, registered office, as well as financial statements of a company. A company can apply for an extension of time to hold its AGM and file Annual return for a fee. Upon approval of the application, the company must file its annual return within one month from the new AGM date. In case of violation company directors are bound to pay fine.

Financial accounts

Every Hong Kong company must keep accounts (copies should be kept in the registered office) and conduct an audit. Auditor should be appointed within three months after company incorporation. The Companies Act does not prescribe the minimum level of qualifications for the person preparing the accounts. However, it will be the responsibility of the directors to appoint individuals with the required level of expertise for preparation of such accounts. Companies with less than 20 individual shareholders (Exempt Private Companies) do not need to appoint an auditor, audit their accounts or file them with ACRA if their revenue is less than S$5 million for the financial year. Along with Annual return a company should submit to ACRA audited financial accounts made up to a date not more than 6 months before the AGM. Financial accounts are submitted by directors to shareholders at AGM and include Statement of Comprehensive Income, Statement of Financial Position, Cash Flow Statement, Statement of Changes in Equity.

Tax returns

Each company in Singapore also has to submit financial and tax filing Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). Filing due date is November 30. A company can apply for Double Tax Relief when submitting annual filing, but documentary proof (Tax Certificate) has to be attached. Tax return filing depends on a type of tax. Income tax return filing should not exceed three months since the end of a financial year of the company. Even if a company estimates its income to be “zero”, it still should file tax return. Unlike income tax, Goods and Service Tax should be paid quarterly. Tax return can be filed online on myTaxPortal, or you can download a form and send it by mail or fax to IRAS.

    Taxes of Singapore

    Min. rate for corporate tax 17%
    Capital gains tax No
    VAT 7%
    Withholding tax 0%/10%/15%
    Exchange control No
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