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freelancing on an EP

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peterGriffin
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freelancing on an EP

Post by peterGriffin » Wed, 14 Nov 2018 8:08 pm

Let us say that I have an EP is Singapore. Now one of my friends in another country wants me to do something for him/her (it can be writing an article, spell checking a document, or even writing a bit of code) for which he/she is willing to pay me some money. Would this be a problem with the EP?

I understand that I cannot work for another company in Singapore because that adversely affects other Singaporeans. However, since I would be rendering my services to another company that is outside Singapore (and so it's employees do not come under the preview of the MOM, but rather the purview of that foreign government), and I am not affecting the life of another Singaporean person in any way, I don't think this might be a problem.

I have gone through the MOM website and they don't seem to mention anything related to this. Does anyone have any suggestions on this?

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Strong Eagle
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Re: freelancing on an EP

Post by Strong Eagle » Wed, 14 Nov 2018 11:36 pm

The rules:
  1. 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.
  2. By nearly global convention, EARNED income is taxed in the country in which you are resident while it is earned. Therefore, you would pay personal income tax on the money earned to IRAS in Singapore. Example: The Denver firm above would not issue me a 1099 US contractors form for services because I am a foreign individual. I would not pay US income tax, I would pay Singapore income tax.

The realities:
  1. Many employment contracts contain clauses that prohibit someone on EP from undertaking any other employment. You should check your status with your contract/employer and determine if what you want to do will make a difference. Maybe you fly under the radar.
  2. Singapore has no easy way to know if money you are receiving is earned income or passive income (rental income, for example). Therefore, it is your honesty that will cause you to file your earned income with the Singapore authorities. Under various tax compacts, it is nearly universal that governments want you to pay tax somewhere but some people cheat.

peterGriffin
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Re: freelancing on an EP

Post by peterGriffin » Thu, 15 Nov 2018 8:16 am

Thanks you Strong Eagle! This makes things very clear.

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