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Question Regarding CPF After Leaving Singapore

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Question Regarding CPF After Leaving Singapore

Postby TonySG » Thu, 15 Oct 2009 10:44 am

I am about to give up my PR and return to the States. When I collect my CPF and return to the States, will it be subject to tax form Uncle Sam??

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Postby econoMIC » Thu, 15 Oct 2009 2:47 pm

You will be able to collect your cheque once you renounced your PR and once you paid the tax owed for the resulting taxation of the money in the CPF to IRAS Singapore. I am however not sure whether the US will tax it afterwards, however that does not influence when you can get the money.
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 15 Oct 2009 5:45 pm

I don't believe that CPF is Taxable in Singapore. I'm not quite sure how the US will handle it but I guess I need to start thinking about it pretty soon as I'll be leaving probably within the next 5 years. I hope! [-o<

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Postby econoMIC » Thu, 15 Oct 2009 6:25 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I don't believe that CPF is Taxable in Singapore. I'm not quite sure how the US will handle it but I guess I need to start thinking about it pretty soon as I'll be leaving probably within the next 5 years. I hope! [-o<


Yes it is taxable in Singapore. If you renounce your citizenship or PR and want to access your money before retirement age you will get taxed as if you had received it as a normal wage at the time you earned it. So if your CPF balance is for example 1 million you will not get the full million. I know this for sure because I know PRs and citizens who renounced and had to pay, or to be more precise it was deducted from their CPF balance right before it was paid out.
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 15 Oct 2009 6:49 pm

Interesting, that sucks big time. Damn double taxation again and again and again. Pretty sure the US will tax it.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 15 Oct 2009 7:25 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Interesting, that sucks big time. Damn double taxation again and again and again. Pretty sure the US will tax it.


I don't see double taxation. CPF contributions are deducted from Singapore income before tax is computed... so really, all you are doing is paying tax on money not previously taxed plus any appreciation.

For the US, I don't think the CPF is taxed because when you file your income for the earned income exclusion, you file your entire Singapore taxable amount, including CPF withheld.

I would imagine the any appreciation in the CPF account would be taxable as investment income. Then again, I'd have to ask myself... how would the IRS ever know about my CPF refund if I don't tell them... Singapore certainly is not going to issue a 1099 or any other form.
Last edited by Strong Eagle on Thu, 15 Oct 2009 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby econoMIC » Thu, 15 Oct 2009 9:06 pm

Well, not that I would like to advise on tax evasion but IMHO I wouldn't worry too much unless you want to re-patriate the funds to the US. Otherwise just open a USD account in Singapore and get a debit card for it. You can then just go to the nearest ATM and withdraw "your weekly allowance" without trouble (okay that doesn't really work if you need all the money at once).
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 15 Oct 2009 10:29 pm

Well I see it as double taxation as you will be taxed on it here in Singapore before you get it and you will probably be taxed in the US on it as well. The fact that it's deductible when you are contributing it is all well and good, but you are still only deferring the tax unless you retire here and draw & spend it here. So, taxed by IRAS on withdrawal (once) and tax when bringing it into the US possibly (twice). Else there's something wrong with my math. :???:

There's that little law were you have to declare any foreign bank accounts with deposits in excess of 10K USD for one. I believe it's TD F 90.22.1

There's also the fact that it not just interest that appreciated. Don't forget, you also get the employer's contributions as well and they were neither reported originally nor deductible. So it's interest plus between 650 to 870/mo employers contributions provided you were making more than 6K/mo here in Singapore that would get taxed. That is, if you have been here for a while. The 4.5K cap is only recent. In the US it would be the Interest and the Employer's contributions that would be taxed as neither are earned income so are not subject to the earned income abroad exclusion. Therefore they would be taxed at the rate applicable if there were no exclusion at all.

I'm speaking from a purely legal POV. :-|

I'm also assuming it is taxable in the US as well (seems O is taxing everything else) It would make sense to take it away from us as well to redistribute the wealth to those who don't work and don't want to work. :-|

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Postby econoMIC » Fri, 16 Oct 2009 3:47 pm

Okay from a purely legal point of view, you are right.

Come on SMS, it is only tax law, not real law :wink:
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Postby taxico » Fri, 16 Oct 2009 7:34 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:...I'll be leaving probably within the next 5 years. I hope! [-o<


why woncha stay. it's nice and warm and safe...

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Postby SGBoyxxx » Sat, 17 Oct 2009 12:02 am

yup I am also feel curious why leave singapore?

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Postby TonySG » Sat, 17 Oct 2009 11:33 am

Thanks to all for your comments. It seems for sure Singapore is going to tax it and still open as to whether Uncle Sam is going to sink his teeth into it as well...maybe I should convert it to cash before leaving and take my chances with U.S. customs!!! :shock: Do they sell those "money belts" some place here in SG?? :D

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 17 Oct 2009 3:17 pm

SGBoyxxx wrote:yup I am also feel curious why leave singapore?


Singapore is too expensive to 'retire' in. Additionally, I cannot shoot ducks, geese, turkey or deer from my door or turn out all the lights and see a bazillion gazallion stars in the milky way at night. I cannot go outside and hear the eerie quiet that come from living so far from others that the only sounds at night are the occasional owl, chirruping of the occasional cricket and the quiet gurgling of the river around the dock pilings as the tide ebbs & flows. Singapore is too frenetic to relax in.

It's a good place to earn a living and bring up kids, but it's not where I would be happy if I didn't have to or could not work.

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Postby barney11 » Wed, 21 Oct 2009 11:24 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
SGBoyxxx wrote:yup I am also feel curious why leave singapore?


Singapore is too expensive to 'retire' in. Additionally, I cannot shoot ducks, geese, turkey or deer from my door or turn out all the lights and see a bazillion gazallion stars in the milky way at night. I cannot go outside and hear the eerie quiet that come from living so far from others that the only sounds at night are the occasional owl, chirruping of the occasional cricket and the quiet gurgling of the river around the dock pilings as the tide ebbs & flows. Singapore is too frenetic to relax in.

It's a good place to earn a living and bring up kids, but it's not where I would be happy if I didn't have to or could not work.


Singapore is actually quite a cheap place to live in.

If you want to shoot ducks, you could just go for reservist duties and you would get to shoot stuff at the rifle range.

Life's supposed to be frentic. It is all about elbowing the random stranger at the train, turning up for work daily, running the rat race and coming in first !

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 21 Oct 2009 12:06 pm

Sounds like you are a young Singaporean male who is still living at home with his parents and probably still going to school so doesn't have a clue about the big wide world yet. Time will come though when you will think about immigrating just like a lot of your countrymen are already doing in increasing numbers annually. :wink:


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