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Teleworking from Singapore

Relocating, travelling or planning to make Singapore home? Discuss the criterias, passes or visa that is required.
rahul.sinha
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Teleworking from Singapore

Postby rahul.sinha » Tue, 31 Jul 2012 11:03 am

Hi Everybody. Trying to figure out what the correct course of action is for the situation i now find myself in. I tried calling MOM and IRAS but couldn't successfully navigate their phone system to get to a real person. Long story short I'm moving to Singapore in the fall with my wife. She has an Employment Pass(EP) and I have currently applied for a Dependent Pass(DP). I was planning on being unemployed for a bit after we relocated to Singapore so the DP was fine. My employer here in the US instead wants to keep me on and have me work remotely. So my question(s) are: Can i even do that with a DP? Do i need to apply for an EP even though i'm not providing any services/working in Singapore? What about Singapore taxes? Do i have to pay taxes if i don't provide any services/work in Singapore? Can i even pay taxes with a DP? I'll be living in Singapore but working remotely for a US company with US clients.

Very lost. Thanks in advance for your support/suggestions.

Makan_explorer
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Re: Teleworking from Singapore

Postby Makan_explorer » Tue, 31 Jul 2012 1:32 pm

rahul.sinha wrote:Hi Everybody. Trying to figure out what the correct course of action is for the situation i now find myself in. I tried calling MOM and IRAS but couldn't successfully navigate their phone system to get to a real person. Long story short I'm moving to Singapore in the fall with my wife. She has an Employment Pass(EP) and I have currently applied for a Dependent Pass(DP). I was planning on being unemployed for a bit after we relocated to Singapore so the DP was fine. My employer here in the US instead wants to keep me on and have me work remotely. So my question(s) are: Can i even do that with a DP? Do i need to apply for an EP even though i'm not providing any services/working in Singapore? What about Singapore taxes? Do i have to pay taxes if i don't provide any services/work in Singapore? Can i even pay taxes with a DP? I'll be living in Singapore but working remotely for a US company with US clients.

Very lost. Thanks in advance for your support/suggestions.


If you are in Singapore when doing your "work", then the work/service is considered performed in Singapore for tax purposes, and hence it is taxable here. The taxes here are low, so you should be more concerned about your tax status in the US. You are liable to pay tax in Singapore, even if you don't have a proper visa.
If the services are performed in Singapore over a longer period of time and it is classified as "work", then you need an appropriate visa. If you are here on a short business trip, you don't need a visa, but thats not the case for you. You may be able to get away with working here for a while without a proper pass, but if you get caught there will be big trouble. Not recommended.

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Re: Teleworking from Singapore

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 31 Jul 2012 3:11 pm

rahul.sinha wrote:Hi Everybody. Trying to figure out what the correct course of action is for the situation i now find myself in. I tried calling MOM and IRAS but couldn't successfully navigate their phone system to get to a real person. Long story short I'm moving to Singapore in the fall with my wife. She has an Employment Pass(EP) and I have currently applied for a Dependent Pass(DP). I was planning on being unemployed for a bit after we relocated to Singapore so the DP was fine. My employer here in the US instead wants to keep me on and have me work remotely. So my question(s) are: Can i even do that with a DP? Do i need to apply for an EP even though i'm not providing any services/working in Singapore? What about Singapore taxes? Do i have to pay taxes if i don't provide any services/work in Singapore? Can i even pay taxes with a DP? I'll be living in Singapore but working remotely for a US company with US clients.

Very lost. Thanks in advance for your support/suggestions.


This is a very gray area. If you are performing the work for a client in another country, paid by an employer in another country, and receiving your payments in another country, then obviously, you are completely under the radar. You affect no one's employment in Singapore, you have no financial transactions that would be subject to tax.

It is also true that funds earned overseas are not subject to Singapore taxation, not matter how they are paid, even in Singapore (http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=1526). So, my rental properties in the US are not subject to taxation, even though I do prepare my financials, handle maintenance, rentals, etc from my computer in Singapore.

Are you working in Singapore? Interesting question. By IRAS standards, the answer is yes. (http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page04.aspx?id=154), which says:

Service Income

Service income refers to income from professional, technical, consultancy or other services provided by a person in the course of its trade, profession or business. Service income received from overseas will be considered as Singapore-sourced if it is not rendered through a fixed place of operation in the foreign jurisdiction and if one is carrying on a trade, business or profession of providing such a service in Singapore. Such income is taxable in Singapore.


This seems to include you working remotely... no fixed place in a foreign jurisdiction.

If it were I, I would declare the income in Singapore, and take advantage of the US earned income exclusion.... I think it is US$95,100 for 2012. You then pay a lower effective Singapore tax rate.

I don't think you need to change your DP status, as you have service income from overseas... you don't need an employment permit for that.

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Postby redladner » Fri, 03 Aug 2012 4:23 pm

Hello,

I was reading the definition of taxable service income a bit differently. Tell me if you think this interpretation may be correct.

Service Income

Service income refers to income from professional, technical, consultancy or other services provided by a person in the course of its trade, profession or business. Service income received from overseas will be considered as Singapore-sourced if it is not rendered through a fixed place of operation in the foreign jurisdiction and if one is carrying on a trade, business or profession of providing such a service in Singapore. Such income is taxable in Singapore.


Where it says "Service Income Received"...this to me would be your US Paycheck, paid to your US Bank Account. And since your US Company does have a fixed place of operation in the USA, then the income is not taxable.

For those that are being paid by their clients from various countries, but are not being paid by a foreign company, because they are running their own consultancy, I think that may be what they are referencing. So if you are based out of Singapore, but taking US payments and putting in a US Bank...you still have to pay taxes on that.

Any thoughts on this interpretation?


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