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Immigrating to Singapore with family - a good or stupid idea?

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PNGMK
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Re: Immigrating to Singapore with family - a good or stupid idea?

Post by PNGMK » Wed, 15 Jan 2020 9:29 am

Yes easy. We have four and we are around 1k per month for all that. Your biggest advantage is tax savings compared to Australia. Ensure you've read up what is needed to establish yourself as "non tax resident" in Australia and I suggest you actually consider selling up / liquidating all your Australian real estate and possibly accounts if you plan on being out for more than a few years. The ATO and govt are cracking down on expats and going to try to tax us to death on our return there.
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south42
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Re: Immigrating to Singapore with family - a good or stupid idea?

Post by south42 » Wed, 15 Jan 2020 11:58 am

PNGMK wrote:
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 9:29 am
Yes easy. We have four and we are around 1k per month for all that. Your biggest advantage is tax savings compared to Australia. Ensure you've read up what is needed to establish yourself as "non tax resident" in Australia and I suggest you actually consider selling up / liquidating all your Australian real estate and possibly accounts if you plan on being out for more than a few years. The ATO and govt are cracking down on expats and going to try to tax us to death on our return there.
That sounds promising - thanks! We will also be taxed for all the perks including very high school fee exemptions (totaling 85k/year taxable), gratuity and possibly annual flights. All up it will eventually still work out to be a bit lower compared to Australia. I didn't realise that ATO are trying to tax ex-pats on their return! If we keep our property in Australia without renting it out, we will not generate any incomes over the course of our contacts in Singapore. What will be taxable to ATO whilst overseas?

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Re: Immigrating to Singapore with family - a good or stupid idea?

Post by PNGMK » Wed, 15 Jan 2020 5:19 pm

"We will also be taxed for all the perks including very high school fee exemptions (totaling 85k/year taxable), gratuity and possibly annual flights." - yes but at Singapore tax rates which top out at 22%.

ATO expat stuff is complex but in short - if you are non tax resident - any Australian derived income is taxed at the very tippy top marginal rate (49%). You don't want Aussie income.

Secondly - if you sell your house while away there may be CGT issues as it is no longer considered a PPR (primary residence) and CGT exempt. If you plan (wisely) to keep it and not rent it (offically that is) and move back into on your return you are good to go.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

south42
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Joined: Tue, 14 Jan 2020 8:08 pm

Re: Immigrating to Singapore with family - a good or stupid idea?

Post by south42 » Wed, 15 Jan 2020 7:10 pm

PNGMK wrote:
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 5:19 pm
"We will also be taxed for all the perks including very high school fee exemptions (totaling 85k/year taxable), gratuity and possibly annual flights." - yes but at Singapore tax rates which top out at 22%.

ATO expat stuff is complex but in short - if you are non tax resident - any Australian derived income is taxed at the very tippy top marginal rate (49%). You don't want Aussie income.

Secondly - if you sell your house while away there may be CGT issues as it is no longer considered a PPR (primary residence) and CGT exempt. If you plan (wisely) to keep it and not rent it (offically that is) and move back into on your return you are good to go.
It will be a short stint for one or two contracts only I guess, and we are not planning on selling our house. Aus tax sounds horrendous... Will keep the place and mortgage..

On another note, do you reckon it is reasonable to budget $2000-2500 per month for food (family of 5 plus a helper). We will be eating at home and hawker centres most of the time, with occasional trips to food courts and restaurants. No extravagant lifestyle or alcohol.

Thanks heaps

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PNGMK
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Re: Immigrating to Singapore with family - a good or stupid idea?

Post by PNGMK » Thu, 16 Jan 2020 10:06 am

Yes absolutely possible. Cutting alcohol helps but also avoiding the expensive supermarkets like Cold Storage is also helpful. You will unfortunately find that only cold storage sell some things but the larger Fair Prices are getting more comprehensive in their stock and actually now have pretty good meat counters (I'm thinking of the FP at City Square specifically and the FP at the Zhongshan mall).

If you keep your house in Australia AND it is not rented out you MUST take extra steps to show you are not tax resident to the ATO. You will end up double taxed. Read here:

https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/inte ... residency/

In your case I would consider informing the ATO of your intention to move to Singapore for work and obtain a "ruling". I am not at all familar now with how to do that (my last tax class was in 1987) but I do know one Aussie expat who did this recently so it must still be possible.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

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