Singapore

Corporate - Other taxes

Last reviewed - 30 May 2024

Goods and services tax (GST)

Supplies made in Singapore and importation of goods

GST is charged at 9% on the supply of goods and services made in Singapore by a taxable person in the course or furtherance of one's business and on the importation of goods into Singapore.

The only exemptions from GST are prescribed financial services, the sale or rental of residential properties, the sale of digital payment tokens, and the import and local supply of prescribed investment precious metals. Zero-rating only applies to the export of goods and international services (subject to conditions).

Import reliefs (e.g. Major Exporter Scheme, Approved Contract Manufacturer and Trader Scheme) are available to ease the cash-flow burden of GST registered businesses.

GST registration is required if a business makes taxable supplies in excess of SGD 1 million for a 12-month period. Voluntary registration is permitted if the taxable supplies is below the registration threshold, subject to conditions. A business may claim input tax credits on its purchases and expenses after its GST registration subject to satisfying the prescribed input tax conditions.

Overseas Vendor Registration regime

The Overseas Vendor Registration regime brings to tax business-to-consumer (B2C) supplies of remote services (i.e. digital services and non-digital services) and imported low value goods. There are specific definitions for remote services and imported low value goods.

Under the Overseas Vendor Registration regime, suppliers belonging outside Singapore are required to register, charge and account for GST on supplies of remote services and imported low value goods supplied to non-GST registered customers in Singapore. Under certain conditions, local and overseas operators of electronic marketplaces may also be regarded as the supplier of the supplies made by the overseas suppliers through these marketplaces.

Overseas suppliers which supply imported low value goods and remote services to Singapore non-GST registered customers in excess of SGD 100,000 in a 12-month period and have a global annual turnover of at least SGD 1 million are required to register for GST in Singapore.

Reverse Charge

Reverse charge applies to local businesses that are subject to input tax restriction due to the making of certain exempt supplies or carrying on of non-business activities. If these businesses are registered for GST, they are required to self-account for GST on their purchases of in-scope imported services procured from overseas service providers and on their purchases of imported low value goods. These businesses may, in turn, claim the GST accounted for as their input tax, subject to the normal rules for input tax recovery.

If these businesses are not registered for GST, they would be liable for GST registration under the reverse charge rules if their purchase of in-scope services and imported low value goods exceeds SGD 1 million in a 12-month period.

Customs and excise duties

Singapore is essentially a free port with minimal import restrictions. Customs and excise duties are imposed on certain intoxicating liquors, tobacco products, motor vehicles, and petroleum products.

Property tax

Property tax is levied annually on the annual value of houses, land, buildings, or tenements.

For residential properties, owner-occupier tax rates range from 0% to 32% and non-owner occupier tax rates range from 12% to 36%. The tax rates depend on the annual value bands which are subject to periodic revisions. 

A one-off property tax rebate at tiered rates of 15% (capped at SGD 1,000 for private properties) to 100%, depending on the type of property, is provided for owner-occupied residential properties in 2024.

For non-residential properties, such as commercial and industrial buildings and land, the tax rate is 10%.

Stamp duties

Stamp duties are levied on written documents (as well as electronic instruments executed on or after 4 October 2018) relating to immovable properties, leases, and stocks and shares.

Immovable properties

Stamp duties are typically payable by the buyer (i.e. buyer’s stamp duty or BSD); however, seller's stamp duty (SSD) and additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) have been introduced as measures to cool the residential property market.

There is BSD of up to 6% for residential property and up to 5% for non-residential property on the purchase price or market value, whichever is the higher. There is an ABSD of up to 65% and an SSD of up to 15% on the price or market value of the property, whichever is the higher, depending on the type of property (residential or industrial), the residency status of the buyer, the holding period of the property, and the number of properties owned.

Foreigners of certain nationalities who fall within the scope of the respective free trade agreements will be accorded the same treatment as Singaporeans.

Certain transfers of equity interest in property-holding entities (PHEs) that own (directly or indirectly) primarily Singapore residential properties could attract additional conveyance duties (ACD) for buyers (up to 71%) and sellers (at 12%) who are significant owners (as defined) of PHEs, as well as for a buyer who would become a significant owner after acquiring an equity interest in the PHEs. For acquisition of equity interest in a company, share duty remains payable in addition to the ACD.

ABSD and ACD are also levied on transfers of any residential property and equity interest in PHE (where the significant ownership threshold is met) into living trusts where there is no identifiable owner of the property or equity interest at the time of transfer. Renunciation of interest in residential properties held in trust in certain scenarios will also attract applicable duties.

Leases

Leases attract duty at 0.4% of the total rent (for leases of up to four years) or 0.4% of four times the average annual rent for the period of the lease (for leases longer than four years), but leases with average annual rents not exceeding SGD 1,000 are exempt from stamp duty.

Stocks and shares

Instruments effecting the transfer of stocks and shares are subject to stamp duty of 0.2% on the purchase price or market value of the shares transferred, whichever is the higher.

Foreign Worker Levy (FWL)

The FWL is a monthly levy that employers are liable to pay for each foreign employee (Work Permit or S Pass holders) hired. The levy rate depends on the employer’s industry and the ratio of foreigners to Singaporeans and permanent residents employed in the company.

Payroll taxes

Singapore does not have payroll withholding. When a non-Singapore citizen employee ceases employment in Singapore, leaves Singapore for an overseas posting, or leaves Singapore for a period exceeding three months, the employer needs to notify the Singapore tax authorities once the fact of cessation/departure is known to the employer and withhold all monies due until tax clearance is issued (unless the employer is bearing full Singapore taxes for the employee). The notification must be made no later than one month prior to the date of cessation/departure, or two months from the date of cessation/departure where the employer is bearing full Singapore taxes for the employee. Non-Singapore citizen employees are also subject to tax on unexercised/unvested stock options/awards on a deemed gain basis when they cease employment or leave Singapore. As a concession, tax clearance need not be obtained in certain scenarios (see Payment of tax in the Tax administration section of the Individual tax summary for details).

Social security contributions

Central Provident Fund (CPF)

The CPF is Singapore's national pension scheme. Contributions are payable by Singapore citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents (i.e. SPR obtained via immigration rules) only. Employers and employees contribute 17% and 20%, respectively, of ordinary monthly wages, up to an income ceiling of SGD 6,800. Their respective maximum contributions are therefore SGD 1,156 and SGD 1,360 per month. The rates are applicable to Singaporeans and SPRs (from third year and onwards) aged 55 years and below.

These rates also apply to additional wages (e.g. year-end bonus), up to the maximum contributions below:

Additional wages subject to CPF contribution (calendar year 2024)

Total wages not more than SGD 102,000 Annual ordinary wages not more than SGD 81,600* Actual additional wages
Annual ordinary wages exceed SGD 81,600* Actual additional wages
Total wages exceed SGD 102,000 Annual ordinary wages not more than SGD 81,600* SGD 102,000 less annual ordinary wages
Annual ordinary wages exceed SGD 81,600*

SGD 20,400 (SGD 102,000 - SGD 81,600*)

* This rate above is based on the annual ordinary wage ceiling for calendar year 2024 i.e. (SGD 6,800 x 12).

Reduced rates apply for employees who are earning less than SGD 750 per month as well as for those above 55 years of age, although these rates are being gradually increased.

The income ceiling will be increased by 2026 – to SGD 7,400 from 1 January 2025 and SGD 8,000 from 1 January 2026. The annual ordinary wage ceiling and maximum monthly contributions for employers and employees will be increased accordingly, however the annual salary (comprising ordinary wages and additional wages) ceiling remains at SGD 102,000.

Foreign nationals and their employers are precluded from making CPF contributions. Foreign employees who become Singapore permanent residents, and their employers, may contribute at reduced rates for the first two years.

Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS)

The SRS is a voluntary scheme to encourage employees and the self-employed to save for retirement over and above their CPF savings. The maximum amount to be contributed is subject to an income cap of SGD 102,000. Employers are allowed to contribute to their employees’ SRS accounts, subject to the contribution limits below. Employees will be taxable on these employer contributions but will be allowed corresponding tax relief.

The contribution rate caps for contributions made to the SRS scheme are as follows:

Residency status Rate cap (%) Contribution cap (SGD)
Singapore citizens or permanent residents 15 15,300
Foreigners 35 35,700

Carbon tax

Carbon tax at a rate of SGD 25 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) of emissions is applied on the total greenhouse gas emissions of facilities that produce 25,000 or more tCO2e of emissions per year. The carbon tax applies uniformly to all sectors, without exemption, and takes the form of a fixed-price credits-based mechanism. The tax rate will be increased to SGD 45 per tCO2e of emissions for 2026 and 2027, and to SGD 50 to SGD 80 per tCO2e of emissions by 2030. Taxable facilities are allowed to use high quality international carbon credits to offset up to 5% of their taxable emissions.