Staying in Singapore while traveling Asia

Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.
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sierra2469alpha
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Post by sierra2469alpha » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 10:13 pm

LittleGreenMan - again - nice work, but slightly mistaken. If they do not land any monies here then there is NO TAX, NO GST.

Again, how do you think companies have people come here for a month or so? Do you think that every country has some form of daily rate of tax?

Appreciate your input, but get it correct. Your quote from IRAS is more about tax residency, as distinct from place of residence. Additionally, the articles you quote are for people without a double-tax treaty. Don't quote parts without knowing it!

Your quote, "Rule is: you pay taxes where you live..." is incorrect for all economies part of APEC. Furthermore, your own quote shows that they are NOT going to be resident of Singapore. Additionally, they are NOT working in Singapore, as their income is foreign sourced.

Please get the facts correct before posting. That will help those who ask genuine questions.

Mr. P

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Post by sierra2469alpha » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 10:17 pm

klaudia wrote: ...
If I have a ticket coming home from Singapore at the end of my year trip, am I OK? Or I can still not buy a ticket like Singapore-Bali-Singapore. Shall I buy the tickets all together, so the last leg would be back to Europe?
Probably OK - as long as you can show that you have monies to support your time here, and that you have an OUTBOUND ticket, you should be OK.

SE/SMS/PLAVT/JP - can you confirm? Thanks, Mr. P

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 10:58 pm

There are two different processes going on here. One, is it legal to work from home in Singapore on a Social visit Pass. and

Two, where is the income taxable.

Legally, according to the IRAS, if they perform work in Singapore then they are liable for Singapore taxes if they are here more than 60 days in a calendar year. Between 60 days and 183 days they will be taxed as non-residents at 15% of gross income. After 183 days they will be taxed using normal resident rates. (This is regardless of whether they are on a Dependents pass, PR, Citizen or any other type of pass. (Proving same is another story)

http://www.singaporeexpats.com/forum/ftopic3445.html

However, with regards to MOM they don't care if your employer is out of the country and your money is not remitted to Singapore. Provided which "you don't have ANY interaction with Singapore or Singapore Citizens or Businesses" If you do, as a self employed or as a representative or free-lancer of another business you need to be here on a proper working visa or you are breaking the law.

Pete, I'm inclined to agree. As long as you have an outward bound ticket to another port of call, it should be okay. They don't care where you go, once you go through the turnstyles, just that you go. :wink:
Last edited by sundaymorningstaple on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Strong Eagle » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 10:59 pm

sierra2469alpha wrote:
klaudia wrote: ...
If I have a ticket coming home from Singapore at the end of my year trip, am I OK? Or I can still not buy a ticket like Singapore-Bali-Singapore. Shall I buy the tickets all together, so the last leg would be back to Europe?
Probably OK - as long as you can show that you have monies to support your time here, and that you have an OUTBOUND ticket, you should be OK.

SE/SMS/PLAVT/JP - can you confirm? Thanks, Mr. P
I hate to say it but a beautiful white woman like that (is that really you, Klaudia?) probably won't get asked for anything... or it will be minimal... like what are your plans? I have never once been asked for any forwarding ticket or what my money was in Singapore. I did have to fight with Cathay in HK who wanted to see my ticket even though I showed them my re-entry permits and PR.

But technically, you are correct. She would need to demonstrate sufficient funds to support herself for the expected duration and she would need something to get back out of the country... I suppose it could be a bus trip to KL... the son and girlfriend of an employee did just that... flew in... hung around for a few days, then bussed it to KL and points northward.

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Post by Strong Eagle » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 11:08 pm

littlegreenman wrote:Come to think about it, guys sorry but I disagree. Rule is: you pay taxes where you live. In this case she will be out of Hungary for a year. For simplicity let's say one tax year (keeping in mind that Singapore observers like many other countries it has dual taxation agreements with the half year mark as the deciding factor). So if she is in Singapore for half a year she is a non-resident at home and theoretically doesn't have to pay income tax there as you pay taxes where you live (unless Singapore and Hungary don't have a dual taxation agreement). She then has to pay the tax in Singapore accordingly if she stays in Singapore for more than 60 days.

http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=1192
You will be taxed on income earned for the period you worked in Singapore even if your employer is not a resident in Singapore, or your income is not paid in Singapore. This also applies if your employer sends you here for training.

...

+If you work in Singapore for 60 days or less in a calendar year, you will be exempt from tax on your earnings here.
+If you work in Singapore for 61 to 182 days in a calendar year, your income will be taxed at 15% or resident rates for individuals, whichever gives the higher tax.
+If you work in Singapore for 183 days or more in a calendar year, your income will be taxed at resident rates for individuals.
And that is if you are employed by a foreign employer. Pls note tax resident is not equal to resident as in immigration status. Of course she would get away with not paying taxes in Singapore I guess but if you strictly follow the IRAS guide this is what should happen in theory.
I cannot speak for any other mentioned country but the facts in this case are:

a) Laptop is used to perform work delivered outside of Singapore.
b) Monies are collected outside of Singapore.
c) No business dealings are conducted in Singapore, no services delivered, no invoices made, no payments received in Singapore.

There is no tax and no requirement to file for same. Of this I am absolutely sure.

My company has performed work outside of Singapore. In one case, we billed a Singapore entity. I am liable to report the income for income tax purposes because I invoiced and received money in Singapore but not liable for GST since the services were delivered out of the country.

In another example, I performed services out of the country and my subsidiary in the other country billed in that country and paid taxes on earnings. I was free to repatriate those funds to Singapore with no tax consequences (except for the gawd awful repatriation tax... which Singapore allows a partial allowance for under tax treaty).

I am familiar with a number of people who have no tax home and pay no tax... they live all over the place around Asia... and work under the radar. I have no comment about the legality of the situation.

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Post by littlegreenman » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 11:35 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:...

I cannot speak for any other mentioned country but the facts in this case are:

a) Laptop is used to perform work delivered outside of Singapore.
b) Monies are collected outside of Singapore.
c) No business dealings are conducted in Singapore, no services delivered, no invoices made, no payments received in Singapore.

There is no tax and no requirement to file for same. Of this I am absolutely sure.

...My company has performed work outside of Singapore...
Okay I am talking about income from employment not if you have set up your own business. If you have set up an offshore company you are 100% correct.

I didn't assume that they might have a company from which they then receive income in the form of dividends/drawings and am talking about income from employment. If you own a company offshore then of course you will not be liable for income tax in Singapore as you have not received any income from employment. However if you are paid by an employer you are liable to pay income tax if you stayed in Singapore for more than sixty days (from a legal point of view). Details can be found on the IRAS link provided.

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Post by ksl » Fri, 12 Jun 2009 3:12 am

You can also land monies here, and you have too, because it's part of the embarkation duties, it doesn't matter where the money comes from as long as you stay within the limits allowed per arrival If you come with too much, then they want to know why and may or may not charge.But literally the reason is to attract all money to Singapore for the casino business so I doubt very much, they are going to jump on you if you are a very wealthy man and you live in Singapore to spend the money you have earned overseas.

Although it wouldn't surprise me if there are two rules, after all we are talking about governments. :lol: and bureaucracy and that is never easy! Just imagine how hard the People are having it, that have lost millions to rouge lawyers, I wonder also if they paid tax on it considering they where from the US, I mean was it earned income outside of Singapore? who knows what goes on in this Country.

The law is what it states, how you interpret it is something else. So it's always the right thing to have it in writing and the wrong thing to assume you are right, unless you have a defence.

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Post by klaudia » Fri, 12 Jun 2009 5:38 am

Strong Eagle
Thank you, it is me:)

All of you guys were extremely helpful, though you lost me with the tax issues, I'm just hoping I'm not breaking any laws. I've decided we're going to travel around Asia, not staying for more than a month anywhere, and be back in Singapore maybe once or twice. Hope it will work out. I think we'll use the 'onward ticket' approach.
Can't wait to be back in Singapore for July!

Thank you all for your kind guidance!

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Post by irvine » Fri, 12 Jun 2009 1:16 pm

It should be fine considering you're staying in Singapore for less than a month each time. Your plan is to use Singapore as a base, right? Outwardly, you will appear like a long term traveller with a laptop... doing some work. If you're concerned about doing work while you're in Singapore, perhaps you should also find out about doing work while you're in Bali, or any other country.

You can get air tickets to Asia destinations from Singapore fairly easy. There are even budget airlines, eg: Airasia, Tiger Airways, Jetstar, etc. For better comfort and class, there is Singapore Airlines.

To avoid being questioned too much, do dress and appear confident and important. ;)

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