theboomboom wrote: ↑
Mon, 16 Nov 2020 1:06 am
Sorry, if this question has been asked, but I searched for quite a bit and couldn't find anything relating to my question.
The pandemic has changed my company's view on having an office, and we have set-out to be a WFH/remote-work company. My company is supportive of anyone working from anywhere, so long it is in a legal way. Given this, I am exploring the idea of being (somewhat) nomadic and working from anywhere. But I am having a hard time fully painting the picture on how I would do that legally.
My situation is that I am on an EP and married to a SC. The company is based in Singapore. Now, to be clear on this, I don't
want to avoid paying taxes. If anything, I want to remain a tax resident in Singapore, but be here for only a few months a year. From the IRAS website https://www.iras.gov.sg/irashome/Indivi ... o-Pay-Tax/
I understand that I will be seen as a tax resident if I am in Singapore for >183 days, and otherwise only taxed for any income I have earned in Singapore at a flat rate of 15%. Now,
- What happens if I have an EP, but I am not in Singapore, at all. Am I still then a tax resident? If not, will I be a tax evader as I won't be a tax resident anywhere else?
- Same question, but what if I am in Singapore for <183 days? Do I only pay taxes based on the non-resident rate while not being seen as a tax-resident?
- Are there other ways I can remain a tax resident while being away from Singapore?
Any help, either in the form of answers or directions to whom or which organisation to contact is deeply appreciated so thanks in advance!
If you are not in Singapore at all, you cannot and will not have an EP. If you are living in a foreign country, then you will work for your company as a contractor. You will pay your taxes in your foreign country of residence. EP's are for non-Singaporean individuals living and working in Singapore. With no EP, you will not be tax resident.
About the only way you can retain an EP while not actually living in Singapore is to be employed by a Singapore company, retain a Singapore address, and be seconded by the company to another country to work.
But, your problem is that no other country wants you to be working in that country without legal authority to do so. So, let's say that you decide to move to Malaysia and work from there. You are now resident in Malaysia for tax purposes and you contract to your Singapore company. This means that you must do what is necessary to get work permits to live and work in Malaysia.
Now, you can get away with quite a lot of shenanigans with the Malaysians when it comes to working and living there without the proper passes. But, I'm not going to suggest that to you.
Presumably, as an expat, you have a home country that you can go to without worrying about residency permits. Your only question is: At what point do your become resident for the purposes of taxation.
Most countries have tax treaties to deal with these issues. Singapore and the USA do not, however. But in general, all countries in the world follow roughly the same set of rules.
Your personal income tax is paid in the country in which you work and reside. It doesn't matter if you are paid by a Singapore company... if you live in Brazil, you are taxed in Brazil.
Your taxation residence is determined by the location of your primary residence, and before you get into "yes, but, I have 2 places," tax treaties provide clear guidance on which residence is your primary residence for tax purposes.
Bottom line: If you're not living in Singapore, you don't pay Singapore taxes and you don't get an EP. This back and forth of less than 183 days or more than 183 days is mostly meaningless, because whichever country you are actually living in is going to want you to pay taxes.
In the case of the USA, you must demonstrate that you are living abroad for 330 days to be exempt from USA taxes.
You should specify what country you think you want to live in. That way, we can use applicable tax treaties to tell you what your tax status will be.