EP Renewal - Worked Overseas since - Seeking advice

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indigonation5
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EP Renewal - Worked Overseas since - Seeking advice

Post by indigonation5 » Tue, 01 Jan 2019 7:40 pm

Hi,

I received my SG EP in Jan 2017 and I have been posted overseas since Feb 2017 (right the next month)

I have been working abroad since and had only returned to Singapore once in March 2018 (for one week) for a meeting.

Now my EP expires May 2019.

My question - Would I have problems with EP renewal? (out of the 2 years of my EP validity - I would have lived outside Singapore for 23 months so all this while I have been remotely working for the SG company)

I wish to continue my employment with the SG company and dont mind paying SG taxes, plus the taxes of the country I am living in.

I work for a SG employer (company registered in Singapore) and they pay me my salary in SG Bank account. Personally, I then forex money out for my living expenses.

Please advice. Any help or suggestion would be greatly appreciated!

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luckycricket
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Re: EP Renewal - Worked Overseas since - Seeking advice

Post by luckycricket » Tue, 01 Jan 2019 7:59 pm

Why do you want to keep your EP if you are not living/working in Singapore? It is not a trophy that you should have in your wallet. Just ask your SG employer to directly deposit your salary in your foreign account.

indigonation5
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Re: EP Renewal - Worked Overseas since - Seeking advice

Post by indigonation5 » Tue, 01 Jan 2019 8:15 pm

luckycricket wrote:Why do you want to keep your EP if you are not living/working in Singapore? It is not a trophy that you should have in your wallet. Just ask your SG employer to directly deposit your salary in your foreign account.
Thank you so much for your reply.

And sorry I missed to add this - The reason I would want to continue my EP is that I would like to return back to Singapore in June or July 2019 (which is right after my EP expires). And am worried that MOM might not renew my EP since I was posted abroad for so long. Would it indeed be the case?

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Strong Eagle
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Re: EP Renewal - Worked Overseas since - Seeking advice

Post by Strong Eagle » Tue, 01 Jan 2019 11:22 pm

If you work for, and are being paid by, a Singapore company, and you pay your personal income taxes in Singapore, then you are considered resident and will probably get renewed.

The big question in my mind, which is not germane to you getting an EP, is how you are managing to work long term in another country without having a work permit there and being tax resident in that country.

indigonation5
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Re: EP Renewal - Worked Overseas since - Seeking advice

Post by indigonation5 » Tue, 01 Jan 2019 11:31 pm

Strong Eagle wrote: The big question in my mind, which is not germane to you getting an EP, is how you are managing to work long term in another country without having a work permit there and being tax resident in that country.
I have an AUS PR, so I am able to work for a SG company while living in Australia. I declare my income in my Aus tax filing and since the two countries have tax treaties - I receive an equivalent rebate in my Aus Taxes to what I pay (or have paid) in SG so it doesn't make a difference to me that I am paying tax in SG as well.

My only concern is that I dont want to lose employment with my SG company. Can I still work for a SG company and be on their payroll even without an SG EP?

Can they continue to pay me my salary to my SG bank account?
(As I am supporting my sister having a medical condition living in SG)

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Re: EP Renewal - Worked Overseas since - Seeking advice

Post by Strong Eagle » Wed, 02 Jan 2019 1:17 am

Singapore companies are free to hire anyone, anywhere. For example, I had a British expat working in Dubai, as an employee (requirement of client). That meant he got a paycheck and benefits. But, he didn't need an EP as he was not physically working in Singapore; and therefore no IR8A, no Singapore income taxes... but taxed in Dubai.

I had a man who worked in KL while on a Singapore EP. He did have to pay Singapore income... technically worked long enough in KL that he should have been tax resident there... but it seems to be rather common practice to have people working long term in Malaysia who never become tax resident.

You need to check into this carefully, though. While, I didn't have issues with this person working in Dubai(not issuing a IR8A, etc), he was truly only an employee, and if a person is deemed to be a "principal" of the company or a non-resident director or a key manager, this person's remuneration can be taxed at a 22 percent rate... you earn $1000, take out $220, send it to IRAS, then send the remainder of $780 to the employee.

You can also operate under a contract status with your Singapore employer... I had a man in KL who floated regularly to Seoul who worked as a contractor. He never had an EP. He had a personal bank account in Singapore at UOB because my company kept its accounts there.

Where your salary gets paid into is of little consequence. What matters is where you perform the work. You are clearly tax resident in Australia... I can't see much difference if you are on an EP in Singapore or not.

But... your situation is complicated enough that you should not rely on my advice. In the end, though, I don't see issues.

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