GST, also known as VAT, was introduced in Singapore on 1 April 1994 at the rate of 3%. This has progressively increased and currently it is at 8%. With effect from 1 January 2024, this will be increased to 9%. Only GST registered businesses can charge GST.

GST can be broadly classified into two categories:

– Taxable supply

  • Standard-rated supply
  • Zero-rated supply

– Non-taxable supply

  • Exempt supply
  • Out-of-scope supply

Standard-rated supply is when GST is charged at the prevailing rate by GST-registered businesses on all sales of goods and services made in Singapore.

Zero-rated supply relates to export of goods and the provision of international services where GST is charged at 0%.

Exempt supply includes the provision of financial services, sale and lease of residential properties and local supply of investment precious metals. No GST is charged on exempt supplies.

Out-of-scope supplies include supplies where the place of the supply is outside of Singapore. No GST is charged. Examples of out-of-scope supplies include:

  • Sales of goods delivered from a place outside of Singapore to another place outside of Singapore
  • Sales of overseas goods within a Free Trade Zone (FTZ)
  • Sales of overseas goods within Zero GST/Licensed warehouse
  • Private transactions

Compulsory GST registration is required under the following conditions:

  • Under the retrospective view, the taxable turnover is more than SGD1 million at the end of the calendar year, or
  • Under the prospective view, the taxable turnover is expected to be more than SGD1 million in the next twelve months

Taxable turnover refers to the total value of all taxable supplies made in Singapore, which includes standard-rated supplies and zero-rated supplies. Taxable turnover does not include exempt supplies, out-of-scope supplies and sale of capital assets.

Contact Us

At Sheltons Accountants Singapore we have extensive experience in providing Singaporean and international tax advice. This includes advice not only on GST but also on tax treaty issues and cross-border tax efficient structuring.

If you need advice or assistance with your Singaporean tax obligations, we’re here to help.

Simply send us an email at SG@SheltonsGroup.com.

Sheltons Singapore

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Singapore incorporated companies will be assessed on the requirement for audit based on the “small company concept”.

A company qualifies as a “small company” if the following are met:

  • It is a private company in the financial year in question

and

  • It meets at least two out of three of the following quantitative criteria
  1. Total annual revenue is less than or equals to SGD10 million
  2. Total assets are less than or equal to SGD10 million
  3. Number of employees are less than or equal to 50

For a company which is part of a group, in order to qualify for an audit exemption:

  • The company must qualify as a “small company” and
  • The entire group must be a “small group”

A group is considered a small group if it meets at least 2 of 3 of the quantitative criteria on a consolidated basis for the immediate past two consecutive financial years.

The above “small company” audit exemption only applies to Singapore incorporated companies. However, for the purposes of determining whether the Group to which a company belongs is a “small group”, all entities within that group are taken into account, including foreign entities, in determining whether the consolidated total revenue, total assets and number of employees of the group meet the thresholds.

Contact Us

At Sheltons Accountants Singapore we have extensive experience in setting up and administering operations for overseas-based businesses. We provide a broad range of services, from setting up the entity and opening a bank account, to providing the legally required local director and a full range of tax, accounting, company secretarial and administrative services.

We are also experienced in providing local and international tax advice, advice on tax treaty issues and cross-border tax efficient structures.

If you need advice or assistance with UK, Singaporean or Australian matters, we’re here to help. Simply send us an email at SG@SheltonsGroup.com. 

Sheltons Singapore

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The legal system in Singapore and Australia is a common law system, ultimately inherited from England. However, the tax and legal differences between Singapore on the one hand, and the UK and Australia on the other, are often surprising to those in the UK and Australia setting up in Singapore. 

Here are a few examples. 

  • Company secretary #1. All Singaporean companies must have a company secretary. However, a company secretary is not needed for private limited companies in the UK and Australia. 
  • The need for a local director. All Singaporean companies must have a local resident person to act as director. Australia has a similar requirement but the UK has no such requirement. 
  • The private limited company – different names.  

UK Ltd (limited)
Australia Pty Ltd (proprietary limited)
Singapore Pte Ltd (private limited).  

  • Company secretary #2. All Singaporean companies need a local resident person to act as company secretary. 
  • Tax residency #1. A company incorporated in Singapore is not automatically a tax resident of Singapore. This contrasts with most other countries, including the UK and Australia – a company incorporated there is automatically a tax resident there. 
  • Tax residency #2. A Singapore company is only a tax resident of Singapore if it is ‘managed and controlled’ in Singapore. This test is easily satisfied. We will publish a separate blog on this. 
  • Due diligence. Singaporean banks and service providers are subject to strict ‘know your client‘ anti-money laundering due diligence requirements. At least in practice this is more demanding in Singapore than in the UK and Australia. Some may find the regime tedious – and it can be time consuming. 
  • Public officer. Neither Singapore nor the UK have the concept of public officer as is found in Australia. 
  • PAYE/PAYG. Singaporean employers are not required to withhold tax from employees salaries.  
  • Work visas. The handling of applications for work visas in Singapore tends to be significantly faster than the UK, and dramatically faster than in Australia. 
  • Territoriality regime. Singapore uses the territorial system of taxation. This compares with the global or worldwide system in use in the UK and Australia. In its pure form all that is taxed in Singapore is income that has its source in Singapore. So a Singapore taxpayer (including individuals and companies) are not taxed on income sourced outside Singapore. There are exceptions of course. (I suppose we should do a blog on this too)! 

Contact Us

At Sheltons Accountants Singapore we have extensive experience in setting up and administering operations for overseas-based businesses. We provide a broad range of services, from setting up the entity and opening a bank account, to providing the legally required local director and a full range of tax, accounting, company secretarial and administrative services.

We are also experienced in providing local and international tax advice, advice on tax treaty issues and cross-border tax efficient structures.

If you need advice or assistance with UK, Singaporean or Australian matters, we’re here to help. Simply send us an email at SG@SheltonsGroup.com. 

Sheltons Singapore

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If you’re a British Citizen in Singapore, you may still be required to file a UK tax return as well as a Singapore tax return, even if you’re considered non-resident in the UK for tax purposes.

Filing UK taxes from Singapore can be confusing. In this blog, our Tax Manager, Christian Iles, answers the most common questions we’re asked when British citizens move to Singapore.

This blog is not just relevant to British citizens, but also individuals who may have lived in the UK or simply have tax compliance obligations in the UK.

In what circumstances will I need to file a UK tax return whilst a resident in Singapore?

There are several reasons why a non-resident of the UK is required to file a UK tax return. These include, but are not limited to:

  • an individual who is in receipt of UK property income
  • an individual who is in receipt of taxable UK dividend income
  • company directors of a UK company who receives remuneration for their duties
  • an individual who sells property or other assets liable to UK capital gains tax

Will I receive my UK personal allowance as a resident in Singapore?

When non-resident of the UK and resident of Singapore, it is only in certain circumstances that you will get a personal allowance of tax free UK income each year. To receive UK personal allowance, you must:

  • hold a British passport,
  • be a citizen of a European Economic Area (EEA) country, or
  • have worked for the UK government at any time during that tax year.

If you are British citizen, holding a British passport, you will be entitled to your UK personal allowance.

What if I did not file UK taxes when I should have been?

If you live in Singapore and forgot, or simply didn’t know that you needed to file your UK tax return, you will still need to file the overdue returns and pay any overdue liabilities. It is important to get up-to-date as soon as possible in order to minimise any penalties and interest charged. In certain circumstances, a letter of appeal can be sent to HMRC to minimise penalties due.

Do I need to declare UK sourced income on my Singapore tax return?

As overseas income is not taxable in Singapore, you are not required to declare UK income on your Singapore income tax return.

Are the UK and Singapore tax years the same?

No. The UK tax year runs from 06 April to the following 05 April, whereas the Singapore tax year runs from 01 January to the following 31 December.

How can I file my UK tax return and when will any liability be due?

The same tax return deadlines apply to non-residents as they do to UK residents – 31 January following the tax year end (31 October for paper returns). Automatic late filing penalties will apply after the deadlines have passed. Any liability you may owe upon filing your UK tax return, will also be due by 31 January following the end of the tax year.

As a non-resident you are unable to use HMRC’s online services to file your return. Instead, you need to:

  • submit your tax return by post,
  • use approved tax software, or
  • seek assistance from a tax agent.

When is my Singapore tax return and liability due?

In Singapore, the filing due date for individual tax returns is 15 April following the end of the tax year. If filed electronically, the deadline is 18 April.

Once your individual tax return has been filed, you will receive your Notice of Assessment or tax bill between May and September. Any tax liability is due in full within 30 days of receiving your Notice of Assessment.

Contact Us

At Sheltons Accountants we have extensive experience providing multi-jurisdictional tax advice, advice on tax treaty issues and cross-border tax efficient structuring.

If you need advice or assistance with your UK or Singapore tax obligations, including dual tax return filings, we’re here to help. Simply send us an email at SG@SheltonsGroup.com to arrange a free initial consultation.

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Are you moving to Singapore and renting out your UK property? If so, you will be classified as a ‘non-resident landlord’ by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Below we have covered some of the popular UK and Singaporean tax issues and questions that arise when becoming a non-resident landlord in Singapore:

How do I stop my estate agent or tenant from deducting UK tax at source?

If you have been determined as a non-resident landlord of the UK, your letting agent or tenant will deduct basic rate tax (20%) from your rent. Once the tax year is complete, your estate agent or tenant will provide you with a certificate certifying how much tax they have deducted in the relevant tax year.

As a landlord, cash flow is important, therefore it’s likely you would prefer to receive your rent in full and pay any tax due through your UK self-assessment tax return.

The way in which you can receive your rent in full, prior to any taxation, is to file a non-resident landlord form (NRL1). Once the form has been approved, HMRC will inform your letting agent or tenant to stop deducting tax from your rent. From there on, you will receive your rent in full without UK taxation. Any tax deducted earlier in the year will be refunded on your next rental statement.

However, it is worth noting that HMRC will only approve your NRL1 application if your taxes are up to date. For example, you have no outstanding tax or tax returns due.

What expenses can I claim on my UK property income?

If this is your first experience of being a landlord, you may be unsure about what expenses are tax deductible. HMRC iterate that for an expense to be allowable for tax purposes, it should be incurred wholly and exclusively as a result of renting out your property. Typical expenses include buildings insurance, estate agent fees and utility bills (only if not reimbursed by tenants).

In some instances, what you assume are revenue expenses may in fact be ‘capital expenses’ for example, improving or upgrading something that was existing. Capital expenses are not allowable and cannot be claimed against rental income, however you might be able to set them against capital gains tax if you sell the property in the future. You should seek professional advice if you’re unsure on the tax treatment of your property expense.

Since April 2020, you have no longer been able to deduct any mortgage expenses from taxable rental income. Instead, mortgage interest is used as a tax reducer, where you receive a tax credit based on 20% of mortgage interest payments. For example, if you make mortgage interest payments of £5,000 per year, you will receive a tax credit of £1,000 to deduct from the liability incurred on your property income.

Will I be taxed on my UK rental income in Singapore?

Singapore has a territorial tax system, therefore only income sourced in Singapore is subject to tax. Consequently, if you are a Singaporean resident with UK rental income, it will not be subject to tax in Singapore. However, this exemption does not apply if the foreign-sourced income was received through a partnership in Singapore.

Do I need to declare my UK property income on my Singapore Tax Return?

As overseas income is not taxable in Singapore, you are not required to declare UK rental income on your Singapore Income Tax Return.

Will I receive my UK personal allowance as resident of  Singapore?

When non-resident of the UK and resident of Singapore, it’s only in certain circumstances that you will get a personal allowance of tax free UK income each year. These include the following:

• you hold a British passport
• you’re a citizen of a European Economic Area (EEA) country, or
• you’ve worked for the UK government at any time during that tax year.

If you are British citizen, holding a British passport, you will be entitled to your UK personal allowance. Thus, only the rental income over the UK personal allowance will be taxable in the UK.

How do I file my UK self-assessment tax return from Singapore?

Regardless of whether you’re a resident of Singapore, renting out a UK property automatically enters you into the UK self-assessment regime. The return will be used to calculate any tax liability arising from your UK property income and any additional UK taxable income.

The same Tax Return deadlines apply to non-residents as they do to UK residents – 31st January following the tax year end (31st October for paper returns). Automatic late filing penalties will apply after the deadlines have passed.

As a non-resident you are unable to use HMRC’s online services to file your return. Instead, you need to:

• Send your tax return by post
• Use commercial software
• Get help from a professional

Contact Us

If you need advice or assistance with your UK or Singapore tax obligations, including dual tax return filings,  we are here to help. Simply send us an email at the address below to arrange a free initial consultation.

For enquiries please contact:
Ned Shelton, Director, Sheltons Accountants, N.Shelton@SheltonsGroup.com

Click here to read our blog where we compare the UK and Singapore Tax systems

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When moving between the UK and Singapore, it is important to be aware of the differences that each jurisdiction imposes on areas of personal taxation. Failing to comply with the relevant procedures and local tax legislation could leave individuals with a series of penalties.

The table below highlights a list of arguably the most important areas of personal taxation that individuals should be aware of when moving between the UK and Singapore. Whilst both countries operate a progressive income tax system, this is where similarities cease as from here on, the UK and Singapore tax systems function differently in almost every way.

UK Tax System vs Singapore Tax System:


UK Tax System Singapore Tax System
Tax Year for individuals 6 April to 5 April 1 January to 31 December
Who is required to file a Tax Return In the UK, most individuals who are employed will pay tax on their income through payroll and are not required to file a Tax Return.

Tax Returns are required where:

  • Earnings are over £100,000 in a tax year
  • In receipt of non-UK sourced income
  • In receipt of property income
  • In receipt of taxable savings, investments and dividends
  • Claiming income tax reliefs
  • Need to pay capital gains tax
  • Self-employed or partnership income
  • Liable to high income child benefit charge
  • In receipt of taxable income which has not yet been taxed

Tax Returns are required where:

  • Individuals who are tax resident and have annual income of S$20,000 or more 
  • Non-resident individuals who derived income from Singapore 
Payroll System In the UK, HMRC operates a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system where tax is collected by the employer through every payslip. The employer then remits the tax withheld to the tax office (HMRC). In Singapore, there is no income tax withheld at source via payroll. It is the employee’s responsibility to file their annual tax declaration and pay directly to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), the local tax authority.
Tax Free Allowance UK residents (and in some instances non-residents) receive a tax-free personal allowance each year. In 2023-23, the tax-free personal allowance is £12,750. In certain circumstances this can be reduced or increased. Tax residents of Singapore receive the first S$20,000 of their income charged at a 0% tax rate.
Income Tax The UK operates progressive rates of income tax which include:
  • £0 to £12,570 (personal allowance) – 0%
  • £12,571 to £50,270 (Basic rate) – 20%
  • £50,271 to £150,000 (Higher rate) – 40%
  • Over £150,000 (Additional rate) – 45%
  • As with the UK, Singapore operates a progressive income tax system. The current individual tax rates in Singapore are as follows:
  • S$0 to S$20,000 – 0%
  • S$20,000 to S$30,000 – 2%
  • S$30,000 to S$40,000 – 3.5%
  • S$40,000 to S$80,000 – 7%
  • S$80,000 to S$120,000 – 11.5%
  • S$120,000 to S$160,000 – 15%
  • S$160,000 to S$200,000 – 18%
  • S$200,000 to S$240,000 – 19%
  • S$240,000 to S$280,000 – 19.5%
  • S$280,000 to S$320,000 – 20%
  • Above S$320,000 – 22%
  • The top marginal income tax rate will be increased with effect from Year of Assessment (YA) 2024 (calendar year 2023). Chargeable income in excess of $500,000 up to $1 million will be taxed at 23%, while that in excess of $1 million will be taxed at 24%; both up from the current rate of 22%.

    Capital Gains Tax

    In the UK there is a Capital Gains Tax allowance of £12,300 per year (2022-23). After this your tax rate will depend on whether you’re a ‘Basic rate’ tax payer or ‘Higher rate’ tax payer:

    Basic Rate: 18% on residential property and 10% other chargeable assets

    Higher Rate: 28% on residential property and 20% other chargeable assets

    Singapore has no capital gains tax.
    Inheritance Tax In the UK, the standard Inheritance Tax threshold is £325,000 (which can increase to £500,000 where the home is passed to children of the deceased). Where an estate is valued over £325,000 there is a 40% Inheritance Tax rate. Inheritance tax, also known as estate duty was abolished for deaths on and after 15 February 2008 in Singapore.
    Tax Return Deadline 31 January following the end of the tax year (31 October if filing a paper return) In Singapore, the filing due date for individual tax returns is 15 April following the end of the tax year. If filed electronically, the deadline is 18 April.
    Tax Payment Deadline 31 January following the end of the tax year. This is the same as the tax return deadline. Once your individual tax return has been filed, you will receive your Notice of Assessment or tax bill between May and September. Any tax liability is due in full within 30 days of receiving your Notice of Assessment.
    Assessable on Worldwide Income UK residents, for tax purposes are taxed on their worldwide income*. Overseas income received in Singapore is generally not taxable and need not be declared in the Income Tax Return (‘territoriality’ system) 
    National Insurance/ CPF In the UK, both the employee and employer are required to pay national insurance contributions each month. The rates vary from 0% to 13.8%. National Insurance is also due on self-employed income. Singapore operates ‘The Central Provident Fund’ (CPF). Both employees and employers must contribute to the fund. The statutory rate for employees is 20% and the rate of the employer’s contribution is 17%. (There are caps – above which CPF does not apply)

    *Assessable on worldwide income (UK) – Individuals resident of the UK with non-domicile status can opt to claim remittance basis and not be taxed on their overseas income as long as it is not remitted to the UK.

    The UK and Singapore Tax Systems: An Overall Comparison

    As you would expect, Singapore’s tax system is far more attractive than the United Kingdom’s.

    While the UK and Singapore both operate progressive income tax systems, the rate at which you pay tax in Singapore is substantially less, with the UK’s top rate of income tax over double that of Singapore’s. For example, where an individual earns a salary of £150,000 in the UK, they will pay a total of £52,460 in income tax. Whereas, if a tax resident earns £150,000 (S$250,500) in Singapore they will pay a total of £18,531 (S$30,947) in income tax. The above calculations are for illustrative purposes only, they do not consider any eligible reliefs or deductions in either country.

    Singapore’s tax system also boasts no tax on capital gains, where the UK, although offers a tax free allowance of £12,300, applies tax rates of between 10% to 28% on capital gains above this.

    What’s more, where Singapore has no inheritance tax, the UK still maintains an aggressive tax rate of 40% above the inheritance tax threshold.

    It is therefore evident that where an individual moves from the UK and acquires tax resident status in Singapore,  they can heavily reduce their tax burden.

    If you require any advice or assistance with UK or Singapore personal tax, we are here to help. Simply send us an email at the address below or fill in our contact form to arrange a free initial consultation.

    Contact us

    At Sheltons Accountants Singapore, Australai and the UK we have extensive experience in setting up and administering operations for overseas-based businesses. We provide a broad range of services, from setting up the entity and opening a bank account, to providing the legally required local director and a full range of tax, accounting, company secretarial and administrative services.

    We are also experienced in providing local and international tax advice, advice on tax treaty issues and cross-border tax efficient structures.

    If you need advice or assistance with UK, Singaporean or Australian matters, we’re here to help. Simply send us an email at SG@SheltonsGroup.com.

    Click here to read our blog where we compare the UK and Australian Tax systems.

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