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Can anybody help me with some tax information!!!

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Debbie007
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Can anybody help me with some tax information!!!

Post by Debbie007 » Sat, 10 Jan 2009 5:24 pm

I have looked on the Singapore Government website and would like to confirm what is taxed. If the company is paying $20,000 for school fees, is that taxed at 100% or what is the percentage?

The company is going to pay 36,000 for housing per year, can I confirm that we will pay 10% of income or whichever is the lower figure?

Trips back home once a year. Will that be taxed 100% if it's a lump sum? If the company gives us the airline tickets, will that be taxed?

Are relocation expenses taxed 100% as well?

Are there any reliefs for expats?

We are planning on staying for 3 years.

Any or all help would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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Re: Can anybody help me with some tax information!!!

Post by Strong Eagle » Sat, 10 Jan 2009 9:41 pm

Debbie007 wrote:I have looked on the Singapore Government website and would like to confirm what is taxed. If the company is paying $20,000 for school fees, is that taxed at 100% or what is the percentage?
You are receiving $20,000 from your company. It doesn't matter what it is for. It is included in taxable income, all of it.
The company is going to pay 36,000 for housing per year, can I confirm that we will pay 10% of income or whichever is the lower figure?
You are receiving $36,000 per year from the company. It doesn't matter what it is for. It is included as taxable income, all of it.
Trips back home once a year. Will that be taxed 100% if it's a lump sum? If the company gives us the airline tickets, will that be taxed?
Cash payment for air tickets is taxable as income. If tickets are provided by the company, then 20 percent of the value is taxable.
Are relocation expenses taxed 100% as well?
I'm pretty sure this is taxable income as well but cannot provide the cite. Just remember the IRAS tax principle: All gains and profits derived by an employee in respect of his employment are taxable, unless they are specifically exempt from income tax or are covered by an existing administrative concession.

The gains or profits include all benefits, whether in money or otherwise, paid or granted to him in respect of employment.
Are there any reliefs for expats?
Relief from what? Paying taxes like everyone else here does (locals and foreigners here for more than 183 days)? Singapore has got one of the best personal tax rates of any country in the world. Again, relief from what? Paying your fair share of what sounds like a very good salary and benefits program?
We are planning on staying for 3 years.

Any or all help would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance.
Read more here: http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page03.aspx?id=2890

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Re: Can anybody help me with some tax information!!!

Post by hideaki_o_o » Sat, 10 Jan 2009 11:43 pm

Hi

Strong eagle is correct in some areas but misses out on some. i'm dealing with expat tax in an accounting firm, so do let me know if you need some advice (dont worry im not charging lol)

school fees - yes 100% taxable

housing - yes you are correct that the IRAS taxes you at the lower of 10% of your income or 36,000.

trips back to your own country - for your spouse and u taxable at 20% only for first trip. for children under 16 (or schooling if above 16) it will be taxable at 20% for the first and second trip.

relocation expenses - claimable if expended on household furniture or items that do not have resale value and are solely for settling in eg pots pans etc, so pls retain your receipts. [http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=1198]

of course there are reliefs for expats!!! i detect some sarcasm from strong eagle here but there actually are quite alot of reliefs available to expats. For example if u donate u get a double tax deduction on the amount u donate.

personal relief -$1000
per child that is schooling -$4000
female spouse -$2000

for females, foreign maid levy. and many more such as life insurance, course fees relief. but yes singaporeans have more entitlement to reliefs but expats do have a share of reliefs to claim too. (http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=1436)

hope this helps.
Strong Eagle wrote:
Debbie007 wrote:I have looked on the Singapore Government website and would like to confirm what is taxed. If the company is paying $20,000 for school fees, is that taxed at 100% or what is the percentage?
You are receiving $20,000 from your company. It doesn't matter what it is for. It is included in taxable income, all of it.
The company is going to pay 36,000 for housing per year, can I confirm that we will pay 10% of income or whichever is the lower figure?
You are receiving $36,000 per year from the company. It doesn't matter what it is for. It is included as taxable income, all of it.
Trips back home once a year. Will that be taxed 100% if it's a lump sum? If the company gives us the airline tickets, will that be taxed?
Cash payment for air tickets is taxable as income. If tickets are provided by the company, then 20 percent of the value is taxable.
Are relocation expenses taxed 100% as well?
I'm pretty sure this is taxable income as well but cannot provide the cite. Just remember the IRAS tax principle: All gains and profits derived by an employee in respect of his employment are taxable, unless they are specifically exempt from income tax or are covered by an existing administrative concession.

The gains or profits include all benefits, whether in money or otherwise, paid or granted to him in respect of employment.
Are there any reliefs for expats?
Relief from what? Paying taxes like everyone else here does (locals and foreigners here for more than 183 days)? Singapore has got one of the best personal tax rates of any country in the world. Again, relief from what? Paying your fair share of what sounds like a very good salary and benefits program?
We are planning on staying for 3 years.

Any or all help would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance.
Read more here: http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page03.aspx?id=2890

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Tax Information

Post by Debbie007 » Sun, 11 Jan 2009 1:02 am

Thanks to both of you for your input. I figured we'd have to pay tax on housing and relocation benefits considering it is paid for by the company but I couldn't read anywhere how much is taxed for school fees. So, I guess it's 100% then. And I am aware that there are tax reliefs available to expats but when reading about Parental relief, Working mothers relief, Having a child, it all seems to relate to people who are Singaporean Citizens which is fair enough although I will look further into Life Insurance relief once we are there.
The reason I need to know about all the taxes is because my husband is going for his final interview in 3 weeks and we really need to see what is being offered and how much we take home after all the taxes are taken into consideration. The Income Tax is much lower in Singapore which is true but once the company starts giving you all the above benefits, it does start to get taxed in a higher bracket and in the end even though it does look good on paper, we are really no farther ahead then being in UK.
So, now I know what figure my husband has to have in mind when discussing salaries.

Much appreciated and yes, a little less sarcasm next time would be better!

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 11 Jan 2009 2:34 am

With regard to sarcasm, I didn't see any. Debbie007 you asked specifically about tax reliefs for "EXPATS". There aren't any reliefs specifically for Expats. They are taxed at resident rates and have the same few reliefs that are granted to residents. Nothing more. So both of you should pull your heads back in.

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Post by Strong Eagle » Sun, 11 Jan 2009 6:35 am

No sarcasm was intended at all. Expats pay the same rates as everyone else. The allowances noted by hideaki_o_o are available to all.

And, I will say your question smacks of hubris. Why should there be 'relief for expats'? Expats are not God's gift to Singapore; it's usually the other way around. If any entity ought to be offering you tax relief it would be your home country.

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Re: Can anybody help me with some tax information!!!

Post by rattlesnake » Sun, 11 Jan 2009 9:55 am

hideaki_o_o wrote:
school fees - yes 100% taxable
Hi Hideaki_o_o - just to clarify, if the school fees are not a payment but a reimbursement on expense, does this have any effect on tax. Would this extend to other reimbursements an employer may provide i.e. taxi, late meals etc?

Thanks in advance.

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Tax Information

Post by Debbie007 » Sun, 11 Jan 2009 1:38 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:No sarcasm was intended at all. Expats pay the same rates as everyone else. The allowances noted by hideaki_o_o are available to all.

And, I will say your question smacks of hubris. Why should there be 'relief for expats'? Expats are not God's gift to Singapore; it's usually the other way around. If any entity ought to be offering you tax relief it would be your home country.
What I meant was any tax reliefs for people coming from another country and settling in and then becoming tax residents. I never said Expats were God's gift to Singapore. I feel very fortunate to possibly have this opportunity to go and live in such an amazing part of the world. I am already an Expat in Uk so after having been through all the resident issues and tax issues here am just merely enquiring about what takes place there. That's all.

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Re: Can anybody help me with some tax information!!!

Post by Strong Eagle » Sun, 11 Jan 2009 4:28 pm

rattlesnake wrote:
hideaki_o_o wrote:
school fees - yes 100% taxable
Hi Hideaki_o_o - just to clarify, if the school fees are not a payment but a reimbursement on expense, does this have any effect on tax. Would this extend to other reimbursements an employer may provide i.e. taxi, late meals etc?

Thanks in advance.
School fees don't qualify as a reimbursable business expense. Therefore it does not matter whether the employee receives cash to pay for school or the company pays the school directly. It is a benefit to the employee and thus is taxable.

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Re: Tax Information

Post by Strong Eagle » Sun, 11 Jan 2009 4:31 pm

Debbie007 wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:No sarcasm was intended at all. Expats pay the same rates as everyone else. The allowances noted by hideaki_o_o are available to all.

And, I will say your question smacks of hubris. Why should there be 'relief for expats'? Expats are not God's gift to Singapore; it's usually the other way around. If any entity ought to be offering you tax relief it would be your home country.
What I meant was any tax reliefs for people coming from another country and settling in and then becoming tax residents. I never said Expats were God's gift to Singapore. I feel very fortunate to possibly have this opportunity to go and live in such an amazing part of the world. I am already an Expat in Uk so after having been through all the resident issues and tax issues here am just merely enquiring about what takes place there. That's all.
OK... maybe I am coming down too heavy... AND... I've met too d@mn many expats who get housing allowances, car allowances, school allowances, home travel allowances... then want to know how they can avoid paying taxes on something that is simply additional income no matter what you name it... in case you hadn't guessed, it chaps my ass.

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Re: Tax Information

Post by rattlesnake » Sun, 11 Jan 2009 11:08 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:I've met too d@mn many expats who get housing allowances, car allowances, school allowances, home travel allowances... then want to know how they can avoid paying taxes on something that is simply additional income no matter what you name it... in case you hadn't guessed, it chaps my ass.
Expats are here for one reason bro and it ain't to pay taxes. In some countries these additional "allowances" are not taxable, that is why we are asking - because we aren't in "some countries" anymore. I am one of the d@mn expats and I don't care where I live, I try to minimise my tax - not avoid it. If it chaps your ass, so be it. Personally I avoid chaps on my ass, each to his own I guess.

Thanks for the answer by the way.

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Re: Tax Information

Post by Debbie007 » Mon, 12 Jan 2009 1:23 am

OK... maybe I am coming down too heavy... AND... I've met too d@mn many expats who get housing allowances, car allowances, school allowances, home travel allowances... then want to know how they can avoid paying taxes on something that is simply additional income no matter what you name it... in case you hadn't guessed, it chaps my ass.[/quote]

Let me just add, that even though I've been an expat in UK for 8 years, I've never had a company pay for anything before except my salary which I had to work very hard for. This is the first time in my life that I've ever been aware of what an "expat" package is all about and I am still pinching myself. We can't believe that there are people out there that have all these extra "luxuries" and still get paid a salary.

By no means would I try to avoid paying tax in any country. We wouldn't actually be further ahead because even though they will pay for this great school, my son still goes to a great school in the UK but we don't pay for it and even though we will have our accommodation paid for, we still have to pay our mortgage back home since this is a bad time to sell a house. And yes, they will pay for our relocation expenses but again that wouldn't be an expense if we just stayed put.

Anyway, I am not complaining or trying to get away with anything. I am extremely grateful and just hope my husband gets that bloody job so that we can feel like the rest of the lucky few for once in our lives.

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Re: Tax Information

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 12 Jan 2009 7:13 am

Debbie007 wrote:even though we will have our accommodation paid for, we still have to pay our mortgage back home since this is a bad time to sell a house. And yes, they will pay for our relocation expenses but again that wouldn't be an expense if we just stayed put.
So, because you were able to buy a house and have a mortgage (that's an investment isn't it?) you expect a company to pony up the cost of another house to live in? Had you been renting instead of mortgaging then how would you justify the housing allowance as not being the same as pure income? Flawed logic I'm afraid.

But never mind. The taxes here are low even though you have the additional income that isn't "actual" salary in name. You will still come out ahead in the long run. Same with educational expenses.

As far as other countries NOT taxing these things, That is primarily because nobody would, in their right minds, go there anyway and the governments that do this know that. Singapore isn't what anybody would call a hardship posting. I'll guarantee that. :wink:
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by Milko » Fri, 10 Apr 2009 1:14 pm

I have a question about claiming relocation expenses against an allowance that was paid to me. I do not want to avoid paying tax, but I believe that these expenses can offset the tax on the allowance.

I am not sure exactly what can be claimed (within reason), can anyone help?
I also need to know exactly where I enter the amount on the e-tax system as there is nowhere obvious to do it.

Cheers and thanks.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 13 Apr 2009 11:01 am

Milko wrote:I have a question about claiming relocation expenses against an allowance that was paid to me. I do not want to avoid paying tax, but I believe that these expenses can offset the tax on the allowance.

I am not sure exactly what can be claimed (within reason), can anyone help?
I also need to know exactly where I enter the amount on the e-tax system as there is nowhere obvious to do it.

Cheers and thanks.
http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=1198

This also from their FAQ's"
Q: I am a foreigner and had just been relocated to Singapore. Will I be taxed on the relocation cost?

A: Generally, relocation cost is not taxed where granted to reimburse the employee for the costs incurred in relocating from a foreign country to Singapore upon commencement of employment eg. the cost of shipping household and personal effects to Singapore. Similarly, the same treatment is also applicable to relocation cost incurred upon cessation of employment.
Singapore does not follow the US and other countries with regard to filing tonnes of documents when you file your return. If you operate a business as a sole proprietor here you only list a 4 line P&L. When you enter your Relocation allowance, only submit the net amount after the allowable deductions show in the link above. You cannot, however, create a loss or deduction. You can only deduct up to the amount of your allowance only. Remember though, you will have to be able to account for the expenses and allowance should you be audited by them. Being audited and coming up short could find yourself with a ticket out of the country. :wink:

sms
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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