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Income Tax on a freelance translator's overseas income

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S.chy
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Income Tax on a freelance translator's overseas income

Postby S.chy » Sun, 10 Jul 2011 2:16 am

Hi,

I am a permanent resident of Singapore and I work as a freelance translator from my home in Singapore. Almost all of my clients (translation agencies) are based in the USA, UK and Europe and they sent me the payment for my job to my bank account in Singapore.

Now, my question is:

Do I need to pay tax for the money that I receive from a foreign country (from outside Singapore) for my translation jobs that I do from my home in Singapore?

Please let me know.

Best Regards,
S. Chy

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Mad Scientist
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Postby Mad Scientist » Sun, 10 Jul 2011 3:18 am

Personally, you would be under the radar but yet again if the frequencies of remittances are high and if the amount hits a certain level, you will be picked up by IRAS and the MHA as cross border remittance over certain amount can be seen as money laundry. It is best to open up a sole proprietorship to deflect any problems in the future. Pay some tax and you will not get burn rather than not paying and end up in the slammer
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S.chy
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Postby S.chy » Sun, 10 Jul 2011 3:28 am

Hi Mad Scientist,
Thank you for your reply. I actually wanted to clear my ambiguity about the IRAS rule which is pasted below:

Q: Do I have to declare my income from outside Singapore?
A: All income received in Singapore from outside Singapore by resident individuals is tax exempt. However, this does not include income received in Singapore from outside Singapore obtained through partnerships in Singapore.

It is clear that if I physically stay outside Singapore, earn money and bring this to Singapore then I do not have to pay tax on it.

In my case, I am residing in Singapore (As a permanent resident), working from my home computer but my income is coming form outside Singapore. So, LEGALLY, do I need to pay tax?

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 10 Jul 2011 12:12 pm

The simple answer is....

If the money is earned in Singapore, it's taxable to Singapore. If it's earned outside Singapore it's not taxable. Where the money is received is of no consequence.

http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page04_ektid104.aspx

http://pwcias.com/webmedia/doc/63318107 ... erview.pdf

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Re: Income Tax on a freelance translator's overseas income

Postby Strong Eagle » Sun, 10 Jul 2011 1:52 pm

S.chy wrote:Hi,

I am a permanent resident of Singapore and I work as a freelance translator from my home in Singapore. Almost all of my clients (translation agencies) are based in the USA, UK and Europe and they sent me the payment for my job to my bank account in Singapore.

Now, my question is:

Do I need to pay tax for the money that I receive from a foreign country (from outside Singapore) for my translation jobs that I do from my home in Singapore?

Please let me know.

Best Regards,
S. Chy


You need to register a business or a company and pay tax. You are doing the work in Singapore.

S.chy
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Re: Income Tax on a freelance translator's overseas income

Postby S.chy » Sun, 10 Jul 2011 8:04 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
S.chy wrote:Hi,

I am a permanent resident of Singapore and I work as a freelance translator from my home in Singapore. Almost all of my clients (translation agencies) are based in the USA, UK and Europe and they sent me the payment for my job to my bank account in Singapore.

Now, my question is:

Do I need to pay tax for the money that I receive from a foreign country (from outside Singapore) for my translation jobs that I do from my home in Singapore?

Please let me know.

Best Regards,
S. Chy


You need to register a business or a company and pay tax. You are doing the work in Singapore.


Thank you for your reply. But, can't I work as a "Self-employed" person? Do I certainly need to register a business or company?

S.chy
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Postby S.chy » Sun, 10 Jul 2011 8:09 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:The simple answer is....

If the money is earned in Singapore, it's taxable to Singapore. If it's earned outside Singapore it's not taxable. Where the money is received is of no consequence.

http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page04_ektid104.aspx

http://pwcias.com/webmedia/doc/63318107 ... erview.pdf


Thank you for the links. That means there is a loop-hole in the system. If I (or anyone else) establish a translation agency in any other country (say in Malaysia) and show that I am bringing the income of my Malaysian translation agency into Singapore then I do not have to declare that money and do not need to pay tax, right? Because in that case all the works are performed in Malaysia, not in Singapore.

Is this legally acceptable?

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 10 Jul 2011 11:17 pm

Provided you have a Malaysian company and pay the taxes there. You would also have to have residency in Malaysia so you can't have residency in both places. If you have residency in Malaysia and are working here then the tax rates here are a flat 15%.

Put it this way, you will have to pay the taxes either in one place or the other. That is, without running afoul of the law somewhere.


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