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Is freelance considered working on a social visit?

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grivoise
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Is freelance considered working on a social visit?

Postby grivoise » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 5:21 am

Hi all, I'm a local whose husband is Italian. We have tried to get a 1 year visit pass for him but no such luck, as applications are on a "case by case" basis as they do not trust women to be able to act as sponsors for their husbands, despite the fact that all the documents they ask for are the same as they would of a man sponsoring his wife - income statements, etc. But that's just a little background story.

Now, my husband is a freelance translator, and his work comes from various companies located in different parts of the world. This might be a tad silly here, but being on a holiday visa here, he is not allowed to work so is it technically "illegal" for him to be freelancing here? So far, he has not taken up any projects from local or locally-based companies.

The other thing is, according to IRAS, a foreigner is considered a resident taxpayer and is required to pay taxes if he/she is in Singapore for 183 days in a calendar year. My husband gets 90 days each time he enters Singapore so I'm pretty sure he's hitting that 183-day quota. But doesn't that mean he would've have to get a work visa first before working and then paying taxes?

We are looking to get a flat together, as well as try to sort out the long-term visa thing, and I think proof of income would be good in backing up the applications (or probably be required). Calling IRAS hasn't done me any good - they just transfer me around or each tell me a different step. :(

So I'm counting on any similar experiences you guys might have had!

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Postby Mad Scientist » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 6:41 am

I would be incline to ask you are few question for the rejection of LTVSP

1. How long have you been married ?
2. How much is your income per month as this is a prerequisite on how he can support himself. ?A saving account , joint or single to supplement ?
3. How long has he been here on standard 90 days visa or how many short runs has he done?
4.I believe you went to this link http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page01_ektid6140.aspx

Yeah it state clearly work or stay in SG you need to pay tax. So if you do not work , you submit zero tax I think. Not sure on this for foreigners .
SMS will be able to highlight on this more
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Postby carteki » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 9:25 am

I know from experience that a person on a DP who works remotely for her co in the UK has no problems with her status (she doesn't have a LC) and doesn't pay tax. Not sure whether this applies for a person on SVP. If he needs to continue working - make sure it is for foreign clients. Also worth speaking to a lawyer (not sure who) to make sure that you're not breaking any laws.

GL

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Postby Saint » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 10:27 am

carteki wrote:I know from experience that a person on a DP who works remotely for her co in the UK has no problems with her status (she doesn't have a LC) and doesn't pay tax. Not sure whether this applies for a person on SVP. If he needs to continue working - make sure it is for foreign clients. Also worth speaking to a lawyer (not sure who) to make sure that you're not breaking any laws.

GL


Very grey area this foreigner working working remotely without a work pass, risky I would say.

But strangely enough, a Singaporean can work freelance for a UK company, get paid into a local bank account or not be liable for either Singapore or UK tax!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 10:40 am

Technically, the IRAS, when asked this question several years ago (for this forum) I was told that it doesn't matter whether the individual has a residency type of visa or not, if they were here more than 60 days they are required to pay taxes on any income earned while in Singapore. This is regardless of where the client company is located - the work is being performed IN Singapore so is therefore subject to Income tax (IRAS is not concerned with what pass you are). Checks & Balances? Don't know if there are any. Especially if you use offshore bank accounts (It could also well be taxable in two countries).

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Postby Saint » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 11:11 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Technically, the IRAS, when asked this question several years ago (for this forum) I was told that it doesn't matter whether the individual has a residency type of visa or not, if they were here more than 60 days they are required to pay taxes on any income earned while in Singapore. This is regardless of where the client company is located - the work is being performed IN Singapore so is therefore subject to Income tax (IRAS is not concerned with what pass you are). Checks & Balances? Don't know if there are any. Especially if you use offshore bank accounts (It could also well be taxable in two countries).


"Overseas income which was received in Singapore (including those paid into a Singapore bank account) on or after 1 Jan 2004 is not taxable"

http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=1526

We had lengthy discussions and correspondence with the IRAS when it Mrs S had to submit her 2008 tax return and was told she didn't have to declare it.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 12:44 pm

Was this income earned while she was physically overseas? Or was it earned while physically residing in Singapore? I believe you question was geared more toward a Citizen working overseas, correct?

This is a Foreigner residing in and working from Singapore, albeit on a SVP and not a DP. I know I'm splitting hairs but I do think it makes a difference. In fact, when I sent the inquiry to IRAS, the return post asked for the individual's name and passport number! :o

I replied it was just to answer an overseas query from somebody thinking about coming to Singapore. :oops: Unfortunately, In a new office PC upgrade our Technician managed to completely delete a PST file from 2007 to half way through 2008! AND the backup! :x So I no longer have that email. I also think the thread where I pasted the contents of that email here was lost in the crash of 3 years ago as well as I've not been able to locate it. :-|

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Postby Saint » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 1:04 pm

SMS, it was income earned while physically in Singapore. I was just pointing out that a local in the same position as the OP doesn't have to pay tax whereas a foreigner would have the book thrown at them.

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Postby grivoise » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 1:22 pm

Thank you all :)

Mad Scientist:
1. We've only been married a year.
2. I'm self-employed so I would have to state an annual income of about 40K. No joint savings account as I think it would be easier if he at least had a long-term pass before applying with me. He offered to show proof of tax returns from his home country but they were ambiguous about wanting to see it (aka, said to KIV???).
3. He has been here since last year, February. Leaving the country for up to 10 days before returning, and has always gotten a 90-day stay.

They keep making appointments for me to see "officers". Initially I applied online, and while expecting to go down for an interview eventually (is this for everyone across the board?), I did not expect the person who called me back to tell me "because you are the wife so you must go down". I personally know of a man who is earning less than me and was able to get a pass for his wife. So I doubt it is my earning power in question, especially when I was prepared to put the "security deposit" if required. Also, I think I can only apply for a LTSVP and not a DP for him.

SMS:

Maybe the tax treaty with Italy would help here, lol!

Saint:

Thank you for that link! This is the one for foreigners: http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=8502 - says the same thing. :)

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 2:02 pm

grivoise wrote:Saint:

Thank you for that link! This is the one for foreigners: http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=8502 - says the same thing. :)


And to take it a little bit further, from the link on that page:

http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=1192

You will be taxed on income earned for the period you rendered services in Singapore even if your employer is not a resident in Singapore, or your income is not paid in Singapore.

Which tends to support my claim.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 2:04 pm

As I said previously, I'm not sure what method of checks & balances they would use in your scenario though? :-k

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Postby ksl » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 2:05 pm

Saint wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:Technically, the IRAS, when asked this question several years ago (for this forum) I was told that it doesn't matter whether the individual has a residency type of visa or not, if they were here more than 60 days they are required to pay taxes on any income earned while in Singapore. This is regardless of where the client company is located - the work is being performed IN Singapore so is therefore subject to Income tax (IRAS is not concerned with what pass you are). Checks & Balances? Don't know if there are any. Especially if you use offshore bank accounts (It could also well be taxable in two countries).


"Overseas income which was received in Singapore (including those paid into a Singapore bank account) on or after 1 Jan 2004 is not taxable"


http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=1526

We had lengthy discussions and correspondence with the IRAS when it Mrs S had to submit her 2008 tax return and was told she didn't have to declare it.
Tax free the last i heard for all sole proprietors, with overseas income changed 2004/5 so even if the 180 day limit rule applies its still tax free...though the person isn't normally allowed 183 days consecutively unless married. So its possible residential rules apply in accordance with business registration, though income is still tax free if it is earned overseas. This was implemented to recruit more business to Singapore from overseas, though how long it will remain tax free is another matter

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Postby ksl » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 2:26 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
grivoise wrote:Saint:

Thank you for that link! This is the one for foreigners: http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=8502 - says the same thing. :)


And to take it a little bit further, from the link on that page:

http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=1192

You will be taxed on income earned for the period you rendered services in Singapore even if your employer is not a resident in Singapore, or your income is not paid in Singapore.

Which tends to support my claim.
Actually you are confusing the issue of freelance and employment. Freelance is self employed right, sole proprietor and his service is not delivered in Singapore but delivered outside of Singapore, its overseas income.

He's not working for an employer. You are correct however if he was employed and paid by the employer for acting as a representative, though a representative would be registered for business in Singapore.
Last edited by ksl on Wed, 25 Aug 2010 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 2:34 pm

The difference being?

When you are freelance it's not the same as being Self-Employed. Otherwise it would be called self employed. When you freelance, you are paid by the employer. If you "Invoice" the employer then you are self-employed.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 2:40 pm

Most freelancer have a piecework employment contract, or they used to, anyway. This would be different if the client called them up and contracted them to do a specific one time contract. They they would be self employed.

That or the Singapore Gahmen are all confused with their singlish. :wink:

Or, more likely, the individuals are erroneously calling themselves freelancers! :wink:
Last edited by sundaymorningstaple on Wed, 25 Aug 2010 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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