Fiscal System in Singapore: a virtual tour in the Jungle of Income Tax and Property Tax Rates

Taxation in Singapore, fiscal system in singapore, investors in singaporeForeign Investors and the Fiscal System in Singapore

Before starting our virtual tour within Singaporean fiscal System. It is important to consider that Singapore is worldwide recognized as one of the top 3 financial centres on a global scale. In the last decade the island city-state of Singapore has attracted investors from all over the world, becoming one of the most promising market in the whole planet.

One of the most relevant key reasons that led In the island of Singapore billions of dollars is easily detectable in the incredible growth of Singapore real estate market.

You can list a dozen economic key factors that ensured growth of the real estate market in Singapore. First of all, we may take into consideration the steady growth in GDP. The country has passed through a global crisis of 2007. Since that time the state is holding back the growth of interest rates to create favorable conditions for the development of the economy.

The lack of growth in interest rates during the crisis shows the strength of economic indicators.
During the recent 8 years national currency (Singapore dollar) has been strengthening against the Euro and the U.S. dollar. It gives investors additional guarantees to reduce their risks.

Taxation in Singapore

Income tax

Let’s take a look at territorial tax system used in Singapore. The standard corporate income tax rate in Singapore is 17%. As a general rule, income is taxable income if it is derived from sources in Singapore or transferred to Singapore from sources abroad. It is one of the types of taxable income, including:

  • income of various trade;

  • professional practice or business income;

  • income in the form of remuneration, including stock options and reimbursement of expenses for accommodation and transportation costs;

  • dividends, interest, discounts;

  • pensions, allowances, rents;

  • royalties and other incomes or profits;

The law of the Republic of Singapore income tax “(Income Tax Act) explains the cases in which the income is received in Singapore. In particular the income received in Singapore if:

  • the amount of income is transferred, translated or moved to Singapore;

  • the amount of the income is used to offset the debt in Singapore;

  • the amount of revenue is used for the acquisition of any movable property in Singapore.

Income in the form of labor remuneration and foreign dividends

Income in the form of labor remuneration, including salary, bonuses, allowances, compensations and other income arising from employment are taxed, if the work is done in Singapore. It does not include the location of the employer, the place of payment of labor remuneration and the location of the company on whose behalf the work is done.

Income of foreign dividends is also very important. In Singapore the tax applies for benefits dividends. It is a tax concession. Everyone can get it from sources outside Singapore, if they are paid by a company which is not tax resident of this country. This approach is used if the received dividends make a profit from trading, professional practice, business activity in Singapore (for example, dividends received by the bank, which is a tax resident of Singapore). The requirement for minimum participation of the recipient of dividends in the organization share capital is absent. Dividends may be paid per share.

Capital income and foreign entities tax income

Capital income is not taxed. If the operations are repeated Singapore tax service may recognize the conduct of business and require the taxpayer to pay the income tax.

Exemption may be extended to business activity income of a foreign operation in a Singapore company. Exemption does not extend to income received from foreign subsidiaries, and foreign entities income, not directly related to entrepreneurial activities (interest, royalties).

Property tax and other taxes

The property tax is paid by owners of a real estate. Real property includes buildings, facilities, houses, constructions, land plots, and rented dwellings. Industrial facilities and equipment used for production activities are not the property. The tax is paid annually.

Rates of property tax:

  • 4% — from the cost used by the owner of the premises for living;

  • the 10% – from the property value;

The tax base of buildings, constructions, facilities and premises is defined as the estimated annual income from the rental of real property rental. It does not include the furnishings and maintenance costs. The land plots tax base and real estate objects is 5% of the market property value. There is a separate formula for calculating the amount of estate tax for certain types of real estate objects (ports, hotels, etc.).

Vehicle tax

Vehicle tax is charged on owners of vehicles.

Customs duties and excise taxes

Singapore is a free port.

The importation of vehicles, tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, petroleum products is taxed by customs duty in Singapore. Alcoholic beverages, petroleum products, tobacco products are subjected to excise taxes.

The tax rate

Income from the private lotteries activities, betting and sweepstakes is charge taxed.

Casino Taxation in Singapore

Casino tax appeared in Singapore recently and it is strongly connected with the growing establishment of casinos and Gross-yield casinos.

If you plan your activity in Singapore, pay attention to the fiscal system in this city-state and, if you have some suggestions, we’ll discuss it in our post together.

Dr. Biagio Faraci, traduttore tecnico, interprete di trattativa ed international web business consultant

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