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Do I need a work permit?

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

PickwickLi
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Do I need a work permit?

Postby PickwickLi » Thu, 08 Mar 2007 2:23 pm

Please help me clear up some confusion about work permits. I am on a dependent's pass in Singapore, but I will be starting freelance work for the company I used to work for in the United States. I'll be working at home, and they will deposit paychecks into my US bank account. Do I still need to change my DP to a work permit?

jumping_gene
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Postby jumping_gene » Thu, 08 Mar 2007 5:50 pm

i'm interested to find out, too, as i'll be in the same situation. also its implications on taxes...

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 08 Mar 2007 9:48 pm

I am not a lawyer, nor a subject matter expert.

First, your business is entirely overseas as is your compensation. You will be working at home.

Thus, there is absolutely zero impact to the Singapore economy and I doubt you would need to make application for anything. This assumes that your business is also registered/incorporated in the US.

Work permits are used to control employment in Singapore at Singapore based companies. They are designed to create a balance between the need to workers/technical talent and the need to have sufficient jobs for local people. You affect nothing in this balance.

To use a similar example, I rent out a house in the US. Rentals are deposited in the US. Expenses are paid in the US. No relationship to Singapore, hence no effect on my EP here.

As a practial matter there would be no way for the authorities to know that you are running this business. With no financial transactions in Singapore at all, you simply will not be on the radar screen.

As for taxes, you will not be liable for Singapore taxes... both because you have no declared income here and because Singapore does not tax income earned abroad if taxes are paid in the country of origin (but note again that since you have no financial presence here you have no tax consequences).

However, you will pay taxes in the US because you earn your income there, from a company located there, and you deposit the money in a US bank account.

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ksl
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Re: Do I need a work permit?

Postby ksl » Sat, 10 Mar 2007 12:41 am

PickwickLi wrote:Please help me clear up some confusion about work permits. I am on a dependent's pass in Singapore, but I will be starting freelance work for the company I used to work for in the United States. I'll be working at home, and they will deposit paychecks into my US bank account. Do I still need to change my DP to a work permit?


Officially yes! If you run over the residential rules of 183 days, it is required that you register with Acra, they will then decide if there is any tax agreement, between the two Countries.

Unofficially from the horses mouth at the counter at MOM, do nothing. like SE explained, don't rattle the hornets nest, if it's all quite, tax issues are very complicated, and they don't really want to know. Although like any countries tax system, they want to know about all your assets and foreign income, becuase if you are now resident after 183 days, they are entitled, under their residential laws to tax it, based on the understanding you are now abroad, and therefore interest is paid tax free in UK, that is.

In UK, one doesn't need to register a business to be freelance, and you don't have to register for VAT, unless it's in your interest to do so. One can earn 56.000 pound before registering for VAT.

Also in UK, on savings for example, if you are resident abroad, they do not tax interest, if you are resident in UK, it is taxed at source.

They have nothing in black & white, that I could find, for freelancers getting royalties or commissions!

I got around it, by having the manufacturer pay the checks, into my wife account, so the tax is paid that way, becuase I don't actually do any work for them anymore. I didn't want to take the risks here.!


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