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Resigning with freedom of movement

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ajbadger
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Resigning with freedom of movement

Postby ajbadger » Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:36 pm

Hi all, long time lurker, but only now that I am leaving Singapore do I need to register and solicit advice...

I am an American expat having lived in Singapore for 18 months. My contract is 30 days notice, and I gave my boss 10 weeks notice verbally with October 10th as my last day. I have been working hard ever since to leave on good terms. I gave written notice 30 days out on September 10th. I respected my boss' wishes to keep my resignation confidential until a transition plan was in place and key management meetings completed last week. Now local HR is a bit upset that they did not know about the resignation and they are only able to withhold a partial (2 weeks plus unused vacation) pay check.

I will move back to the US in November or December, but on October 13th I travel to Tokyo and spend 3 weeks there on boarding for my new position and in important meetings before moving back to the US. I need to come back to Singapore after Tokyo to have things moved out of my apartment and tidy up lose ends.

My concern after reading some posts is that I won't have tax clearance by October 13th when I leave for Tokyo. I don't want to be stopped from leaving Singapore on October 13th and I don't want to be stopped from re-entering on October 31st as a tourist to move myself out and pay my bills. I am in no way a "runner".

I have asked my local HR that we turnover my EP at MOM on my last day in person so I can get a proper tourist visa on the spot before traveling to Tokyo. Any other advice?

If IRAS determines I owe more tax than has been withheld in my final partial pay check, will I be denied re-entry to Singapore? If denied re-entry, how do I sort this out? I am happy to write checks, but brown paper bags aren't allowed under the US FCPA.

I have loved my time in Singapore and want to leave on the best of terms. Someday I hope to be back. But in the short term I need to make sure I can come and go without trouble at immigration.

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Postby PNGMK » Wed, 01 Oct 2014 6:47 am

Why on earth would your boss want HR kept in the darK?

As for tax clearance it may come down to you doing some legwork with IRAS to make sure they are paid.

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Re: Resigning with freedom of movement

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 01 Oct 2014 6:53 am

ajbadger wrote:Hi all, long time lurker, but only now that I am leaving Singapore do I need to register and solicit advice...

I am an American expat having lived in Singapore for 18 months. My contract is 30 days notice, and I gave my boss 10 weeks notice verbally with October 10th as my last day. I have been working hard ever since to leave on good terms. I gave written notice 30 days out on September 10th. I respected my boss' wishes to keep my resignation confidential until a transition plan was in place and key management meetings completed last week. Now local HR is a bit upset that they did not know about the resignation and they are only able to withhold a partial (2 weeks plus unused vacation) pay check.

I will move back to the US in November or December, but on October 13th I travel to Tokyo and spend 3 weeks there on boarding for my new position and in important meetings before moving back to the US. I need to come back to Singapore after Tokyo to have things moved out of my apartment and tidy up lose ends.

My concern after reading some posts is that I won't have tax clearance by October 13th when I leave for Tokyo. I don't want to be stopped from leaving Singapore on October 13th and I don't want to be stopped from re-entering on October 31st as a tourist to move myself out and pay my bills. I am in no way a "runner".

I have asked my local HR that we turnover my EP at MOM on my last day in person so I can get a proper tourist visa on the spot before traveling to Tokyo. Any other advice?

If IRAS determines I owe more tax than has been withheld in my final partial pay check, will I be denied re-entry to Singapore? If denied re-entry, how do I sort this out? I am happy to write checks, but brown paper bags aren't allowed under the US FCPA.

I have loved my time in Singapore and want to leave on the best of terms. Someday I hope to be back. But in the short term I need to make sure I can come and go without trouble at immigration.


If they file the IR-21 today, they should have it (the tax bill) before the 10th (e.g., 8 or 9th). At that point, due to time constraints, they should pay it directly at 55 Newton Road (IRAS) as putting a cheque in the mail will not reach in time. They can then either remit the remaining balance of your pay to you or you can write a cheque to top up the difference if needed (or withdraw the cash to pay them on the spot). There are tax calculators on the IRAS site and you can plug in your salary for the year and it will calculate so you will have an idea if there will be any shortfall or not. HTH

sms

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 01 Oct 2014 8:18 am

Look up an old post of mine from January or February. Once your IR21 clears, IRAS will issue you a notice of assessment and let you know if you owe money or not. Once they issue that, you have 10 days to pay. They will notify ICA to not let you leave the country if the balance is still outstanding on the 10th day.

What you should do is put a sufficient amount of money into a local bank account (I used DBS). You can log into IRAS every day and as soon as your notice of assessment is issued you can see it online. Pay the due amount (if any) to IRAS via your online bank within those 10 days and you'll be fine.

Singapore's taxes are very easy to calculate. You should already have very good idea of what your tax obligations are, and how much you'll owe or not based on what HR has withheld.

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Postby ajbadger » Wed, 01 Oct 2014 10:26 am

Thanks for the help everyone.

As to the timing of the announcement, I can only assume this wasn't intentional but rather just concern that HR would keep my exit confidential. I know it's HR's job to keep secrets, but it wasn't my call to make. In retrospect I wish I had done some research on this and insisted on earlier filing of IR21.

HR has confirmed to me that they filed IR21 on Sept 29. But they say we just wait for the tax assessment to arrive in the post. Does anyone know if there is a way I can monitor progress online and download the assessment before I receive it in the post?

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 01 Oct 2014 10:50 am

ajbadger wrote:Does anyone know if there is a way I can monitor progress online and download the assessment before I receive it in the post?


Re-read my post:

You can log into IRAS every day and as soon as your notice of assessment is issued you can see it online.


https://mytax.iras.gov.sg/ESVWeb/default.aspx

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 01 Oct 2014 10:58 am

Additionally, it will also be on the employers IRAS correspondence as well so they will know also a day or two before receiving the hard copy by post.

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Postby ajbadger » Fri, 03 Oct 2014 1:04 pm

Thanks for your help so far everyone. I have to admit I was quite concerned about the timing of this all, but I think it will work out.

HR filed my IR21 on Sept. 30th.

I received a text message this morning that my tax assessment was available (3 working days).

Both HR and Finance are out of the office today, so I went ahead and paid the full tax due electronically from my HSBC account.

I called IRAS to ask about the fastest way to settle, and frankly they weren't helpful at all. They suggested putting a check in the post initially, then after probing from me admitted that an electronic payment would probably get processed faster (in 2-3 working days). Fortunately I have enough time before I leave to go this route, just waiting for confirmation of the payment now.

I suppose there is a risk that I will overpay if my employer does not release my withheld amounts to my bank account, but I should get the overpayment back eventually and it's worth it to have peace of mind that I can leave the country when I need to.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 03 Oct 2014 1:56 pm

You need to be sure to let your HR know that you have paid the taxes as they know they are required by law to pay the taxes for you. They won't ask you in all probability, but just pay it as soon as they receive the notice from IRAS, so make sure you tell them at the soonest possible time, if you haven't already. Also, you might need a record of payment (which is why I suggested going directly to IRAS @ 55 Newton Road.

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Postby ajbadger » Fri, 03 Oct 2014 2:47 pm

Yup, I emailed HR informing them that I paid the liability in full and asking they deposit the withheld amounts into my bank account. We will see if they actually do this, but better to take that risk than the alternative.

I am assuming that as long as the payment I made today processes and my balance online is $0.00 that I won't have trouble exiting. If that hasn't happened by Wednesday morning I will call them up and see what I can do about a proof of payment. But the unhelpful IRAS guy on the phone made it sound like bringing a check to 55 Newton would take longer to process than an electronic payment.

-A.J.

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 03 Oct 2014 6:28 pm

ajbadger wrote: I am assuming that as long as the payment I made today processes and my balance online is $0.00 that I won't have trouble exiting.


Do you have to settle your accrued IRS bill if you travel between jobs?

I left SG in July of one year before matters were settled at fully IRS. What I can tell you is that there isn't (wasn't?) any concept of writing off a debt, even a net/small one; they were still chasing me two years later in Europe and then later in the States.

When employment ends you're automatically issued a 30-day SVP. When you finally leave hand in any cards (LTVP included for those on one) at the airport. I've handed them in at customs desk after the 'metal-detectors'.


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