Singapore Expats Forum

PR Application - Chances/Odds

Relocating, travelling or planning to make Singapore home? Discuss the criterias, passes or visa that is required.
User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34456
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Re: PR Application - Chances/Odds

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 02 May 2016 12:24 am

Once your become a PR you have to pay the Medishield Premiums as long as you remain a PR, whether you are within or without Singapore. So if you go overseas on a job, but retain your PR, you are still required to pay Medishield Premiums (as BBCWatcher will tell you, it's like the US in as much as you are taxed (but it not a tax in this case bur a medical Ins Premium) regardless of where you are, so if you leave Singapore, you better give up your PR immediately or you CPF account will dwindle as they keep deducting the premiums until PR is given up. Welcome to Singapore.

BBCWatcher
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1035
Joined: Sun, 13 Sep 2015

Re: PR Application - Chances/Odds

Postby BBCWatcher » Mon, 02 May 2016 10:28 am

MediShield Life premiums are taxes. There's absolutely no ambiguity or serious debate about that. Just because Singapore's government hesitates to use the word "tax" doesn't mean they aren't taxes. Lots of governments try to play those word games, e.g. "solidarity surcharges," but they are only games. Sometimes you receive direct benefits from the same government, and sometimes you don't, but that doesn't actually matter. A tax is a tax. There's nothing wrong with taxes in principle. Governments need them to raise revenues to fund publicly provided goods and services, and nobody sane wants to live in a place and time without government.

The United States has its Self-Employment Tax for comparison. That's what it's openly, honestly, and correctly called ("Tax"). If you're a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident living in Singapore (for example), and if you're self-employed, then you must pay the SE Tax on your earned income, under penalty of the law (including possible imprisonment) if you fail to pay -- as with MediShield Life. In return you receive a package of valuable insurance benefits: (1) U.S. Social Security retirement benefits; (2) U.S. Social Security disability insurance; (3) U.S. Social Security survivors' benefits; (4) U.S. Medicare eligibility. Items (1) and (4) require at least 10 years of "premiums," although that can include treaty country contributions. (Singapore is not a treaty country.)

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10561
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Re: PR Application - Chances/Odds

Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 02 May 2016 11:31 am

BBCWatcher wrote:The United States has its Self-Employment Tax for comparison. That's what it's openly, honestly, and correctly called ("Tax"). If you're a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident living in Singapore (for example), and if you're self-employed, then you must pay the SE Tax on your earned income, under penalty of the law (including possible imprisonment) if you fail to pay -- as with MediShield Life. In return you receive a package of valuable insurance benefits: (1) U.S. Social Security retirement benefits; (2) U.S. Social Security disability insurance; (3) U.S. Social Security survivors' benefits; (4) U.S. Medicare eligibility. Items (1) and (4) require at least 10 years of "premiums," although that can include treaty country contributions. (Singapore is not a treaty country.)


Rather misleading. Virtually any US citizen or US permanent resident is going to be working for a Singapore company or a Singapore business, government and embassy jobs excepted. Tell me, please, how one obtains a work permit of some sort in Singapore without being employed by a Singapore company or business? You don't.

And as soon as you are working for a foreign business you are no longer obligated to pay into SS, etc... in fact, you can't even if you want to. You have to be employed or self employed with a US business... this entire subject was broached from a different perspective... how an American could work in Singapore and still pay into SS.

Working for Dell, or Exxon, or Loreal? You're working for the Singapore branch, not the US branch...it's the Singapore branch that gets the permits. If you're self employed in Singapore, you're doing it under your Singapore registered SP, and once again, you don't/can't pay US SS taxes.

BBCWatcher
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1035
Joined: Sun, 13 Sep 2015

Re: PR Application - Chances/Odds

Postby BBCWatcher » Mon, 02 May 2016 5:22 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:Rather misleading. Virtually any US citizen or US permanent resident is going to be working for a Singapore company or a Singapore business, government and embassy jobs excepted. Tell me, please, how one obtains a work permit of some sort in Singapore without being employed by a Singapore company or business? You don't.

Singapore PRs can be self-employed. There are over half a million of them, and some of them are U.S. citizens. SMS is one such person (although not self-employed).

But that's not the point. The point is that compulsory contributions to government-mandated insurance programs are taxes. And that's not a problem, in principle.

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10561
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Re: PR Application - Chances/Odds

Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 02 May 2016 11:01 pm

BBCWatcher wrote:Singapore PRs can be self-employed. There are over half a million of them, and some of them are U.S. citizens. SMS is one such person (although not self-employed).


A Singapore PR must have a legal business entity in order to work. If you work for a foreign company (including your own) and follow equivalent foreign Social Security laws in that country, you are not required to pay additional US Social Security tax. In fact, you can't.

If you were an American working for your own SP in Singapore, you would NOT file a Schedule C with your US income tax form. You would simply record income you received from your Singapore SP. Schedule C is for DOMESTIC SP's only.

I suppose you could say I was technically "self employed" as a PR in Singapore... I formed and worked for my own private limited... but the terminology "self employed" is meaningless in context of US tax laws. I filed a personal 1040. I had to file numerous form 5471's to repeort my ownership in foreign corporations I owned in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Australia.

But, be clear... these were not corporate tax returns, they are financial transparency returns. Again, if you work in Singapore, you must work for a foreign entity, even if it is your own SP, and if you work for a foriegn entity you do not pay SS. You will not file a US corporate return, a US partnership return, or a US Schedule C, and if you do not file one of those you will not pay SS.

That is why your statement, "If you're a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident living in Singapore (for example), and if you're self-employed, then you must pay the SE Tax on your earned income, under penalty of the law..." is simply false.

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10561
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Re: PR Application - Chances/Odds

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 03 May 2016 5:44 am

BBCWatcher wrote:But that's not the point. The point is that compulsory contributions to government-mandated insurance programs are taxes. And that's not a problem, in principle.


Your point seems to be all about semantics. I can use the generic term "sleeping surface" to describe anywhere I might choose to sleep but that descriptions misses the more nuanced definitions of "bed", "cot", "hammock", etc that provide additional information about the sleeping surface.

And do it is with your insistence that everything the government collects must be called taxes. Yes, as with a sleeping surface, it can be said that any non-voluntary monies handed over the the government are taxes, and it misses the nuanced meanings.

In reality, "taxes" are those dollars I pay from which I derive general benefits, shared with others who also pay the taxes. property taxes and sales taxes support the general good, like roads, courts, and schools.

"Fees" are another form of tax that provide me with a specific benefit, and the intent of the fee is to have me support the benefit I use. I pay fees to license my car, to renew my own drivers license, or file for a building permit. I pay fees to use a public park. I pay a fee for the water I use, the garbage I generate, and the sewage I produce. The intent is that I pay for what I use and not pass the costs on to the general population.

Then there are "premiums" and "contributions". These are the monies that I must pay, from which I personally benefit, now or in the future. SS, state teachers retirement, Medishare, and mandatory pension programs are just a few.

So, yes... it's a tax, and it's more.
Sure

BBCWatcher
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1035
Joined: Sun, 13 Sep 2015

Re: PR Application - Chances/Odds

Postby BBCWatcher » Tue, 03 May 2016 8:32 am

Strong Eagle wrote:A Singapore PR must have a legal business entity in order to work. If you work for a foreign company (including your own) and follow equivalent foreign Social Security laws in that country, you are not required to pay additional US Social Security tax. In fact, you can't.

If you were an American working for your own SP in Singapore, you would NOT file a Schedule C with your US income tax form. You would simply record income you received from your Singapore SP. Schedule C is for DOMESTIC SP's only.

Let's just say that your interpretation of how the U.S. side works is "interesting." There is a company formation concept on the U.S. side called a "disregarded entity." I'll just leave it at that since you're hijacking this thread to discuss a non-central point. That said, it is certainly possible, even common, to be a U.S. person self-employed overseas in a non-treaty country...and subject to the U.S. SE Tax. If you want to exclude Singapore, OK, whatever.

BBCWatcher
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1035
Joined: Sun, 13 Sep 2015

Re: PR Application - Chances/Odds

Postby BBCWatcher » Tue, 03 May 2016 8:45 am

Strong Eagle wrote:Your point seems to be all about semantics.

It's not a semantic argument many people outside government seriously contest. Governments, however, have started to play semantic games. I just go by the dictionary definition.

And do it is with your insistence that everything the government collects must be called taxes.

No, I did not make that assertion. For example, there are state-owned railroads, airlines, and ferry operators. In my view the ordinary, voluntary ticket fare does not become a tax merely because the transport company is state-owned.

Then there are "premiums" and "contributions". These are the monies that I must pay, from which I personally benefit, now or in the future. SS, state teachers retirement, Medishare, and mandatory pension programs are just a few.

Try arguing with a Singaporean living in London that she derives "personal benefit" from MediShield Life taxes. She's not convinced. Many other overseas Singaporeans aren't convinced.

For the record, I think she does get some benefit. I don't agree with her argument, at least not entirely. She derives contingent insurance benefit from MediShield Life, much as U.S. citizens derive continent insurance benefit from Medicaid (which happens to be funded from general revenues, a portion of which U.S. citizens living overseas pay on non-U.S. source income). Nonetheless, her premiums are still taxes. If, for example, she steps foot in Singapore (even with superb private medical insurance) and hasn't paid her MediShield Life taxes then the government will arrest her if she attempts to depart. The government has said that's how it works. That certainly isn't like any insurance purchased from NTUC or Great Eastern.

I've repeatedly argued -- in this very thread! -- that there's nothing wrong with taxes in principle, that government-provided goods and services are often wonderful, and that nobody sane would want to live in a society without government. That doesn't mean that the funding streams for government goods and services aren't (usually) taxes. They are. They can also be called many other things, like "premiums," but the term "taxes" is at least equally valid.

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10561
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Re: PR Application - Chances/Odds

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 03 May 2016 10:34 am

BBCWatcher wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:A Singapore PR must have a legal business entity in order to work. If you work for a foreign company (including your own) and follow equivalent foreign Social Security laws in that country, you are not required to pay additional US Social Security tax. In fact, you can't.

If you were an American working for your own SP in Singapore, you would NOT file a Schedule C with your US income tax form. You would simply record income you received from your Singapore SP. Schedule C is for DOMESTIC SP's only.

Let's just say that your interpretation of how the U.S. side works is "interesting." There is a company formation concept on the U.S. side called a "disregarded entity." I'll just leave it at that since you're hijacking this thread to discuss a non-central point. That said, it is certainly possible, even common, to be a U.S. person self-employed overseas in a non-treaty country...and subject to the U.S. SE Tax. If you want to exclude Singapore, OK, whatever.


Give me an example of how an American citizen with Singapore PR, living and working in Singapore, would file any differently than I have stated. Explain how they work in Singapore. Explain how they pay US SS and the forms they file. I paid a CPA to file my taxes across five Asian countries and the USA, and never have heard of your conjecture.

And who hijacked this thread with respect to taxes?

BBCWatcher
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1035
Joined: Sun, 13 Sep 2015

Re: PR Application - Chances/Odds

Postby BBCWatcher » Tue, 03 May 2016 1:34 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:Give me an example of how an American citizen with Singapore PR, living and working in Singapore, would file any differently than I have stated.

OK, church employees are one example. They're not self-employed, but they're subject to the SE Tax, oddly enough. There are some churches in Singapore (and mosques, and temples....), and PRs can work for them. But if you'd like to read more about the IRS's definition of independent contractors, a form of U.S. taxable self-employment entirely compatible with Singapore PR status, here you go.

The fact you paid a CPA buys you absolutely no assurances with the IRS or with most other tax agencies. I'm not impressed, but more importantly neither is the IRS. Wesley Snipes had two (high priced) accountants.

I don't particularly care whether you believe that some Singapore PRs can be subject to the U.S. SE Tax, even though that happens to be true, and even though Singapore PR status isn't the only country or immigration status that U.S. citizens overseas can find themselves. That issue has no bearing on whether MediShield Life premiums are the taxes that they are. The only point here is that the U.S. Self-Employment Tax pays for valuable insurance coverages -- how valuable is situational -- just as MediShield Life taxes do. The U.S. openly and honestly calls their revenue-raising system for Social Security and Medicare the tax that it is. Singapore's government chooses the word "premium," but the word "tax" applies in equal measure, as English language dictionaries indicate.

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10561
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Re: PR Application - Chances/Odds

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 03 May 2016 8:54 pm

BBCWatcher wrote:The fact you paid a CPA buys you absolutely no assurances with the IRS or with most other tax agencies. I'm not impressed, but more importantly neither is the IRS.


It pays me in one way... they assume the costs of penalties if they screw up.

BBCWatcher
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1035
Joined: Sun, 13 Sep 2015

Re: PR Application - Chances/Odds

Postby BBCWatcher » Tue, 03 May 2016 9:11 pm

Do they serve your prison time for you, too? If so, Wesley Snipes might be interested. ;)

andrew0209
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed, 01 Jun 2016

Re: PR Application - Chances/Odds

Postby andrew0209 » Wed, 01 Jun 2016 3:00 pm

Hi all,

Kindly seek for your advice of the chance to get PR approval.

26, Degree holder (1st class), EP (working 1 year +), annual income about $33,000
Malaysian Chinese, Local listed manufacturing company.

Application submitted since 20 Feb 2016 but now still pending. Does it mean no hope already? ](*,) ](*,)

User avatar
Barnsley
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2122
Joined: Tue, 10 Jun 2008
Location: Pasir Ris
Contact:

Re: PR Application - Chances/Odds

Postby Barnsley » Wed, 01 Jun 2016 4:03 pm

andrew0209 wrote:Hi all,

Kindly seek for your advice of the chance to get PR approval.

26, Degree holder (1st class), EP (working 1 year +), annual income about $33,000
Malaysian Chinese, Local listed manufacturing company.

Application submitted since 20 Feb 2016 but now still pending. Does it mean no hope already? ](*,) ](*,)


Been here 1 year??

What's the rush?

You are almost guaranteed PR if you follow the rules , one of which is 3 yrs Tax submissions or something like that.

Should you get rejected this time , they will just tell you to apply once you have fulfilled that requirement.
Life is short, paddle harder!!

andrew0209
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed, 01 Jun 2016

Re: PR Application - Chances/Odds

Postby andrew0209 » Wed, 01 Jun 2016 4:50 pm

Barnsley wrote:
andrew0209 wrote:Hi all,

Kindly seek for your advice of the chance to get PR approval.

26, Degree holder (1st class), EP (working 1 year +), annual income about $33,000
Malaysian Chinese, Local listed manufacturing company.

Application submitted since 20 Feb 2016 but now still pending. Does it mean no hope already? ](*,) ](*,)


Been here 1 year??

What's the rush?

You are almost guaranteed PR if you follow the rules , one of which is 3 yrs Tax submissions or something like that.

Should you get rejected this time , they will just tell you to apply once you have fulfilled that requirement.


LOL... Because applying together with my gf. She working 3 years plus... Seem like this time my fail rate kinda high huh... LOL :shock: :shock: :shock:


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “PR, Citizenship, Passes & Visas for Foreigners”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests