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Working remotely from Singapore

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Marseb
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Working remotely from Singapore

Postby Marseb » Tue, 28 Jun 2016 12:12 am

Dear all

My wife and I are moving to Singapore within this year as I have been relocated by my company. we are currently living in Chile where my wife has been working as a representative for a Canadian company meaning that her salary was paid to Chile and she paid tax etc here. in Chile.
My questions is then, if my wife can keep doing this from Singapore. Working there for the Canadian company, receive salary and pay taxes? the idea is that she will just work from home and since she doesnt generate any profit there will be no need for company bank etc. in Singapore. I hope some of you have some experience you would like to share with me.

Brgds,
Sebastian

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Re: Working remotely from Singapore

Postby BBCWatcher » Tue, 28 Jun 2016 1:07 am

Work is where she performs it, not how long the wire is between her and her clients. So at least from a tax point of view Singapore is where she'll be taxed.

Whether she requires and can obtain work permission is a separate question.

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Re: Working remotely from Singapore

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 28 Jun 2016 1:42 am

BBCWatcher wrote:Work is where she performs it, not how long the wire is between her and her clients. So at least from a tax point of view Singapore is where she'll be taxed.

Whether she requires and can obtain work permission is a separate question.


Not exactly... from a very similar set of circumstances... DP working remotely... no business activities in Singapore:

Dear Mr Wayne

Thank you for your email on 08 April 2015.

Dependent Pass holder is not required to hold a work passes if he/she does not represent their overseas employer for any work related purposes while in Singapore. The foreigner may also perform work for the overseas employer via electronic or telecommunication from their home.


That's straight from MOM.

Edit: I found the email from IRAS dated Jun 05 2015. The salient paragraph is:

IRAS: Generally, foreigners rendering services in Singapore on behalf on their foreign employers will be taxed on income earned for the period that they render their services in Singapore, even if their income is not received in Singapore. The taxable income includes salary, allowances, benefits-in-kind, accommodation etc provided by the overseas employer or Singapore company for the period the employee was in Singapore. In this case, the individual is rendering her services in Singapore on behalf of her Canada employer. Hence the remuneration paid/provided to her from both Canada and Singapore during her stay in Singapore is subject to tax in Singapore. For more information, please refer to Working for Foreign Employers.


To summarize then: Your wife will not require a work permit as long as the company she works for renders no services in Singapore. She will have to file annual personal income tax returns and if she is resident in Singapore for more than 183 days, it will be at the resident tax rate.

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Re: Working remotely from Singapore

Postby BBCWatcher » Tue, 28 Jun 2016 2:25 am

Strong Eagle wrote:Not exactly... from a very similar set of circumstances... DP working remotely... no business activities in Singapore....

How is that "Not exactly"? It's exactly what I wrote: a separate question. The answer to that question depends on the scope of the (remote) work, as the Ministry of Manpower indicated.

I would ask the Ministry of Manpower again. That letter was addressed to Mr. Wayne and his circumstances. It is not MoM guidance that applies to anybody else.

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Re: Working remotely from Singapore

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 28 Jun 2016 4:30 am

BBCWatcher wrote:I would ask the Ministry of Manpower again. That letter was addressed to Mr. Wayne and his circumstances. It is not MoM guidance that applies to anybody else.


That's bullsh*t, BBCW. It wasn't my circumstances at all (I was a PR, remember?), it was a series of questions I posed to MOM and IRAS based upon numerous related posts on the boards regarding employment at a distance while living in Singapore. Other questions pertained to non-resident directors.

The circumstances of the OP are identical to the circumstances of an earlier poster and one which I placed to query to MOM and IRAS (even down to the country of employment). Unlike others who read whatever they want into whatever webpages they may be referencing, I ask before I respond. In this case, the situation is identical... both the MOM and IRAS responses are applicable.

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Re: Working remotely from Singapore

Postby BBCWatcher » Tue, 28 Jun 2016 10:54 am

Strong Eagle wrote:In this case, the situation is identical... both the MOM and IRAS responses are applicable.

It is impossible for us to know that based on the limited information provided, and moreover MoM's advice to one individual is not evidence of current policy. (And MoM never represented it as such.) When you get an individual determination from MoM you get an individual determination. Nothing more, nothing less.

General policy MoM posts to its Web site, and of course it's possible to review Singapore's laws and regulations. To my knowledge MoM has not posted any general policy on "remote work," but if you can find something on MoM's Web site, great, let us know.

Indeed, you asked for another individualized determination and did not rely on somebody else's. Great, and that's a great idea for the original poster, too.

IRAS (and tax issues) are separate.

What we can perhaps say is that, in at least superficially similar, past circumstances the MoM permitted the remote work, but we recommend that the original poster contact both the MoM and IRAS to get individual determinations.

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Re: Working remotely from Singapore

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 28 Jun 2016 11:25 am

Geezuz you can be a thick headed pain in the ass at times.

Why the hell do you think I wrote to MOM? Because there was nothing specific on the website! How thick headed can you be?

Do you think that MOM issues opinions one way for one person and another way for another person under the same set of circumstances? Remote work is remote work. The position makes a great deal of sense. A remote worker, bringing herself to Singapore, affects the local work force and job market ZERO.

It also makes a great deal of sense from a very simple perspective that seems to have eluded you. There has to be a legal entity in Singapore to file for a work permit. If there is no entity, there is no work permit. Just like MOM said.

My experience with MOM, over more than 10 years, is that they are very cautious in issuing opinions for questions like I submit. They know that answering the questions I pose defines a position, and they typically respond two or three times, asking for clarification of the situation before rendering an answer.

So... my advice and information to the OP stands, and he can make his own decisions as to next steps, your bullsh*t to the contrary notwithstanding.

I see you have now moved into the imperial "we"..."we can perhaps say that"... "we recommend"? Who is the we? You and mouse in your pocket? Please don't include me in that "we". I'll leave it other posters to determine if they want to be in your jolly band of pedants.

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Re: Working remotely from Singapore

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 28 Jun 2016 11:29 am

And yes, IRAS (and tax issues) are separate, and also clearly defined. If you are in the country earning a living, you pay tax... just about like every other country in the world. If you are physically present in the country, you pay tax to that country. You know any country that isn't like that?

Please note that the answer I gave earlier refers to income earned for services rendered, not investment income.

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Re: Working remotely from Singapore

Postby x9200 » Tue, 28 Jun 2016 11:33 am

Is it allowed to cross the road at the pedestrian crossing if there is a green light but I am wearing a red t-shirt? I don't see posted on the STP any general policy about wearing red t-shirts in the context of road traffic. Does this mean I should contact the STP to get the issue assessed for this particular case before I decide to cross the road?

C'mon. An important part of such consideration is the purpose of the law what in the case of MoM and this specific subject seems to coincide pretty well with a common sense.

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Re: Working remotely from Singapore

Postby BBCWatcher » Tue, 28 Jun 2016 9:16 pm

You simply have to present the facts and circumstances to the MoM (and perhaps also IRAS, although that part is probably more clear cut), in the present (2016 now, as I write this), and ask for an individual determination. MoM can decide however it wants. The fact MoM decided a certain way in superficially similar circumstances in the past is "interesting" but not dispositive.

Do you really want to argue about that? Seriously?

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Re: Working remotely from Singapore

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 28 Jun 2016 9:37 pm

No wonder Britain stepped on it's own toes on the 23rd. There's a good example of the reasons why.

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Re: Working remotely from Singapore

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 28 Jun 2016 9:54 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:No wonder Britain stepped on it's own toes on the 23rd. There's a good example of the reasons why.


The man can't tell the difference between circumstance and policy.

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Re: Working remotely from Singapore

Postby JR8 » Tue, 28 Jun 2016 10:43 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:No wonder Britain stepped on it's own toes on the 23rd. There's a good example of the reasons why.


Jeez SMS he's no Brit.

p.s. @Eagle. re: 'You know any country that isn't like that?'. Without wishing to appear pedantic, or anything like BBCW ;) :lol:
'The 5 Countries Without Income Taxes - Bermuda, Monaco, the Bahamas, Andorra and the United Arab Emirates'
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Working remotely from Singapore

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 28 Jun 2016 11:36 pm

JR8 wrote:'The 5 Countries Without Income Taxes - Bermuda, Monaco, the Bahamas, Andorra and the United Arab Emirates'


That's useful information!

I understand that in the UK pedant = "bloody wanker", yes?

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Re: Working remotely from Singapore

Postby JR8 » Tue, 28 Jun 2016 11:50 pm

By gosh, Jesus criminee, shiver me timbers, I do believe you got the bulls-eye there sir!
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard


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