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Freelancing for a foreign company while on Tourist Visa

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at_90
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Freelancing for a foreign company while on Tourist Visa

Postby at_90 » Mon, 21 Jan 2019 1:22 pm

Hello all,

My partner recently has just quit his job due to the toxic working environment. He's a US citizen so he will have 90 day stay on tourist visa here and he plans to look for jobs/go for interviews.
He also plans to do freelance to support himself financially in the meantime. The freelance will come from a foreign company, but we plans for the money to be deposited in his SG account.

My questions are, if anyone knows well:
1) Supposedly within 90 days he still can't find a job, will doing a visa run to another country then come back 1 month later potentially cause any problem? We won't wait until his 90 day runs out of course. Also for 3 years prior we had been doing long distance so he'd been back and forth every month for a couple days and it never seemed to be a problem.
2) Will freelancing to a foreign country's company while staying in Singapore on social visit be a problem? Couldn't find any proper information anywhere (MOM, IRAS etc.)
3) Does anyone know how tax works in this case? He will get taxed in the country he's freelancing from.
4) Should he deposit money into SG account still or will that be a problem?
5) Anything else we should be aware of?

Appreciate any advice.
Have a good week ahead!

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Strong Eagle
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Re: Freelancing for a foreign company while on Tourist Visa

Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 21 Jan 2019 10:31 pm

If you are not working for a company or individual that provides goods and services in Singapore or has any legal presence in Singapore, then you do not require a work permit of any sort to perform work for compensation while in Singapore. Example: I live in Singapore provide remote accounting services for a firm located in Denver, Colorado, which provides services only in Denver. I don't need a work permit of any sort. It does not matter where my bank account is, it does not matter what currency I am paid in.

You're going to get whacked for your visa runs, sooner or later. Since you are not officially resident in Singapore, you should pay your taxes in your home country.

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PNGMK
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Re: Freelancing for a foreign company while on Tourist Visa

Postby PNGMK » Tue, 22 Jan 2019 6:55 am

If the job is providing a reasonable income he should look at regularising the situations by registering a local company and working towards getting himself an EP via same company.
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at_90
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Re: Freelancing for a foreign company while on Tourist Visa

Postby at_90 » Wed, 23 Jan 2019 1:55 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:If you are not working for a company or individual that provides goods and services in Singapore or has any legal presence in Singapore, then you do not require a work permit of any sort to perform work for compensation while in Singapore. Example: I live in Singapore provide remote accounting services for a firm located in Denver, Colorado, which provides services only in Denver. I don't need a work permit of any sort. It does not matter where my bank account is, it does not matter what currency I am paid in.

You're going to get whacked for your visa runs, sooner or later. Since you are not officially resident in Singapore, you should pay your taxes in your home country.


Thanks for your reply! Yeah in the meantime he will try to apply for jobs for sure. It's unfortunate but we will try to sort this out the best we can. Hopefully something comes up soon. I'm only worried it might look off if he stays a long time in Singapore under tourist visa. But i'd imagine he wouldn't be the only one doing this in their job search while in Singapore?

at_90
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Re: Freelancing for a foreign company while on Tourist Visa

Postby at_90 » Wed, 23 Jan 2019 1:57 pm

PNGMK wrote:If the job is providing a reasonable income he should look at regularising the situations by registering a local company and working towards getting himself an EP via same company.

Hey there, I don't think it'll come to that point (although that would be quite good). If within a year and Singapore provides no opportunity whatsoever we will relocate to a different country :)

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martincymru
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Re: Freelancing for a foreign company while on Tourist Visa

Postby martincymru » Wed, 23 Jan 2019 6:09 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
You're going to get whacked for your visa runs, sooner or later. Since you are not officially resident in Singapore, you should pay your taxes in your home country.


Q1. whacked means prevented from entering (forever or indeterminate)?
Q2. if non resident (for tax purposes) in said home country, e.g. less than 183 days then where to pay tax?

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Re: Freelancing for a foreign company while on Tourist Visa

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 23 Jan 2019 10:50 pm

martincymru wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:
You're going to get whacked for your visa runs, sooner or later. Since you are not officially resident in Singapore, you should pay your taxes in your home country.


Q1. whacked means prevented from entering (forever or indeterminate)?


From the posts I have seen in the forums, "whacked" means anywhere from a few months to 3 years, with an occasional permanent ban. If I had to make a SWAG, the OP could find himself SOL for two years.

Q2. if non resident (for tax purposes) in said home country, e.g. less than 183 days then where to pay tax?


If he's not officially tax resident in another country, then he would generally be considered to be tax resident in his home country. Yes, I know there are people that avoid paying tax anywhere, and there are also governments that would like to catch them (with my blessing).

If you've got questions about a specific country, take a look at the reciprocal tax treaties in place. They are very clear about where tax is to be paid for a variety of scenarios and a variety of taxes.


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