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Tax and EP questions

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mike21
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Tax and EP questions

Postby mike21 » Wed, 23 May 2012 1:06 am

I am a UK citizen working for a UK company and I maybe asked to work in Singapore for a while (not sure how long yet).

Currently my company does not have a subsidiary in Singapore so they would want to pay me in the UK. My work is business development and working with our local partners in Singapore. My time would not be billed for and no direct revenue would be generated by my work in Singapore. The revenue would be generated by the local Singapore partners selling our product and this indirect revenue funds my time in Singapore. I will be leaving Singapore regularly to visit Malaysia, HK etc etc so won't be in the country for more than a few weeks at a time but do intend to live in Singapore.

Does anyone have some guidance for the tax and EP implications of the above

At sometime in the future my company does intend to set up a subsidiary in Singapore at this time and depending on tax implications they would sponsor me for an EP and pay locally (if this is desirable) we will be hiring local staff for this subsidiary once it is set up.

Again does anyone have any advice, paid in UK or Singapore?

When I leave the UK can I become non-resident in the UK and choose to
pay lower Singapore tax?

Does anyone have any recommendations for tax experts that may be able to help?

curiousgeorge
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Location: Singapore

Re: Tax and EP questions

Postby curiousgeorge » Wed, 23 May 2012 7:49 am

mike21 wrote:I am a UK citizen working for a UK company and I maybe asked to work in Singapore for a while (not sure how long yet).

Currently my company does not have a subsidiary in Singapore so they would want to pay me in the UK. My work is business development and working with our local partners in Singapore. My time would not be billed for and no direct revenue would be generated by my work in Singapore. The revenue would be generated by the local Singapore partners selling our product and this indirect revenue funds my time in Singapore. I will be leaving Singapore regularly to visit Malaysia, HK etc etc so won't be in the country for more than a few weeks at a time but do intend to live in Singapore.

Does anyone have some guidance for the tax and EP implications of the above

At sometime in the future my company does intend to set up a subsidiary in Singapore at this time and depending on tax implications they would sponsor me for an EP and pay locally (if this is desirable) we will be hiring local staff for this subsidiary once it is set up.

Again does anyone have any advice, paid in UK or Singapore?

When I leave the UK can I become non-resident in the UK and choose to
pay lower Singapore tax?

Does anyone have any recommendations for tax experts that may be able to help?



Hmm a tricky one.

Your first problem is that UK taxes you on where you get paid, and Singapore taxes you on where you do your work. So both UK and Singapore will be looking for a piece of your tax pie, but there is a Dual Tax Treaty between the countries so you will only end up paying once (but whether that is in the UK or Singapore I dunno - seek professional advice). Either way, the sooner you get paid by a local company, the sooner you can cease to pay tax in the UK. I was in this situation previously as a consultant (paying 55% tax!) but most of it was refunded eventually...

As for EP...how? You need a local company to sponsor you at least (if not being employed here) to even get an EP. Without that EP you can't live here (nightmare to get bank accounts, apartment etc). I am sure there must be some kind of consultant/short term work visa (but I don't know), but that wouldnt allow you to live here either. Your work status is the first thing to establish, because from there all other options will be decided.

If you leave the UK and you want to become non-resident, you will need to convince HMRC that you are actually leaving the UK. i.e. you are taking family with you (or have no family), have no property or other ties to the UK, etc. Without a full-time job or very long term contract, you're going to have a hard time proving you are leaving the UK, and especially if you are still getting paid in the UK! The other thing is, you could be non-resident and simultaneously ordinarily resident in the UK, its a bit messed up.

On the other hand, you will pay 15% tax in Singapore for the first six month, and after 186 days in Singapore you can apply to tax resident here, and from then on you will pay local rates (which are retrospectively also applied to you first six months).

I have had excellent service from The Fry Group, http://www.thefrygroup.co.uk/ who specialise in Tax and Financial Advice for Expats, with offices in the UK and Singapore so they really know their stuff for both countries.

beppi
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Postby beppi » Wed, 23 May 2012 3:55 pm

If you want to do any actual work in Singapore and visit longer than the standard visa-on-entry (30days) or more often than twice a year, you need a proper long-term visa that allows work. This is only obtainable if the work is for a Singapore-registered entity.
Your company will have to register a subsidiary (representative office seems to be the best for your case) in Singapore and employ you there.
The only alternative, setting up your own company, getting an Entrepass and working for the UK company as subcontractor, is very difficult to achieve.


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