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Working for a US Company In Singapore

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Myasis Dragon
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Joined: Wed, 05 Feb 2020 7:13 am
Answers: 23

Working for a US Company In Singapore

Post by Myasis Dragon » Thu, 19 Nov 2020 6:23 am

The following question was posed to me in my message box. I answer it here.
I have been browsing these forums as I am trying to figure out how to handle my next employment assignment and saw that you are pretty active on the forums and have a really good understanding of the laws / rules. Do you have a few minutes to discuss my situation? If its easier, I'll also summarize my situation below.

I am currently on an LTVP tied to my Singaporean wife. We moved here in May and I have been working remotely for a bank in the US since then. I am about to accept a new role where I'd be working remotely for a US company (no business in Singapore). I believe this should be okay and then believe I should be paying tax to Singapore vs the US. My employer plans to issue me a w-2 but i guess im not sure how taxes would work since they usually are automatically taken out of every paycheck. Would i pay taxes to the US and then request a refund? I want to make sure i dont get doubled taxed.

Thanks in advance for your help!
Are you an American citizen or permanent resident? Because that is what matters, not the location of the company you are working for.

Based on your comments, you can work remotely for the company as it has no physical presence in Singapore and provides no services in Singapore. Therefore, in Singapore, you will file your income tax as a sole proprietor in Singapore.

If you are not a US citizen or permanent resident, then that's the end of it. You owe no tax to the USA simply because you work for a US company.

But, if you are a citizen or permanent resident, then you should know that the USA taxes its citizens' world wide income. If you meet the foreign residence requirements, essentially out of the USA for 330 days per year, then there is an earned income exclusion ($107,600 for 2020). This much of your foreign income is not subject to US tax, but all your non-earned income is subject to tax rates as though the income was included.

In short, if you're making less than $107,000 in 2020 you will file a US tax return but not pay any income tax. However, because you are working for a US company, you are still liable to pay social security and medicare taxes. However, you can set your W4 to 99 exemptions to minimize withholding tax, which you will get back anyway.

Find out more here: ... -exclusion

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Re: Working for a US Company In Singapore

Post by PNGMK » Thu, 19 Nov 2020 2:31 pm

Actually if the OP is working for a company that is doing no actual business in Singapore he can claim a rebate for the time spent out to the country for his Singapore taxes as well. A search on IRAS will find it.

When I had this issue come up before (although I was a PR working for a UK company that had no presence in Singapore) I simply reported the income on the IRAS form every April when I filed.

I think MD has covered the US side of the issue well enough.
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
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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