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What Taxes Do Indian Entrepreneurs Pay in Singapore?

Author Nataliya DzharianiNataliya Dzhariani

4 min read
Money Talk

A guide to Singapore corporate taxes and exemptions for foreign business owners

What Taxes Do Indian Entrepreneurs Pay in Singapore?

Singapore tax system is one of the best in the world for entrepreneurs. Explore Singapore business opportunities and learn how to benefit from opening your company and paying its taxes here.

Quick note: one way to do that is to hit us up to do your accounting for you. Check out our accounting services in Singapore.

What are the benefits of Singapore tax system?

The tax rates in Singapore are simple, transparent and fairly low. The corporate tax rate is 17% flat for both foreign and local entrepreneurs. On top of that, Singapore government supports startups by giving exemptions for the first three years after incorporation. And since Singapore and India have a Double Taxation Agreement, you’re protected from being taxed twice on the same income.

What exemptions are there for start-ups?

The Start-Up Tax Exemption (SUTE) provides tax cuts for the first 3 years of operation. Starting from the financial years 2019 and 2020 the rules translate into the following effective rates:

  • 4.25% on the first S$100,000 (₹52,60,000) of normal chargeable income
  • 8.5% on the next S$100,000 (₹52,60,000)

After the first 3 assessment years have expired, you can receive a Partial Tax Exemption (PTE). Here are the effective tax rates:

  • 4.25% for the first S$10,000 (₹5,26,000) of normal chargeable income
  • 8.5% on the next S$190,000 (₹1,00,00,000)

How do Singapore and Indian corporate taxes compare?

Singapore has a one-tier tax structure: you only pay 17% corporate tax and there are exemptions for SME that make effective rate even lower. Tax on dividends is exempted. In India, you pay twice: 25% corporate tax and then 15% tax on dividends. The result can be 4.5 times more than you’d pay in Singapore. Let’s do the math comparing two mature companies with the same profit:

Profit: ₹50,00,000

India Singapore
Tax on profit 25%
₹12,50,000
8.08%
₹4,03,750
Dividends ₹37,50,000
Tax on dividends 15%
₹5,62,500
Total taxs ₹18,12,500 ₹4,03,750

How can I qualify for the start-up tax exemption?

It is available within the first 3 years after you opened a company in Singapore.

  • At least one shareholder has to be a person, not a company and hold more than 10%.
  • No more than 20 shareholders altogether.
  • Investment holding and property development companies cannot apply.
  • You have to be a tax resident in Singapore.

What are other taxes on business?

Singapore declared dividends are not taxable, neither are capital gains. There’s a Goods and Services Tax (GST) on supplies made in Singapore but your company only has to register for it if your turnover grows over S$1,000,000 (₹5,26,00,000). As a GST-registered company, you have to charge GST on your supply. The upside is you can claim GST suffered on your purchases. If you mainly export your goods abroad, you may apply for an exemption from GST registration.

Tax Singapore India
Corporate Tax 17% 25%
Capital Gains Tax 0% 15–2-%
Tax on Dividends 0% 10%
GST 8%
after S$1m turnover
5–28%
Personal Income Tax 0%–22%
progressive rate
0%–30%
progressive rate

When and how do I submit my taxes?

Taxes are filed annually with IRAS (the tax authority) by November 30th. You report on your income for the previous year. For example, a report on 2018 income is submitted on November 30th, 2019.

You also get to choose the exact evaluation period. It doesn’t have to match a calendar year. For example, if you’ve incorporated in October, you can report your income from the 1st of October to the 30th of September.

Annual reporting is a service regularly provided by local agencies. As they process your documents, they will advise on possible changes needed to qualify for tax exemptions.

FYE
Closing data of your evaluation year
30 Sep 31 Mar
Basis period
Your evaluation year, choose convenient dates.
1 Oct 2017
to 30 Sep 2018
1 Apr 2018
to 31 Mar 2019
Year of Assessment (YA)
When you submit the report
2019 2020
Tax Filing Deadline
Always 30 Nov
30 Nov 2019 30 Nov 2020

Can my company lose Singapore tax residency?

Yes, if the IRAS thinks your “control and management” happens elsewhere.  So one important requirement is that your board of directors has to meet and make strategic decisions in Singapore. Having a local executive also helps convince IRAS that your company is resident.

Losing residency means you won’t get most of the exemptions and benefits. Good news is that residency is evaluated on a yearly basis so you can apply again the following year.

If I move to Singapore, what personal taxes will I pay?

The personal tax rate is progressive from 0% to 22%. If you buy a property, tax on property is progressive from 0 to 16%.

Personal tax rate

Chargeable income ($) Estimated tax (S$) Effective tax rate
first 20,000 0 0%
next 10,000 200 2.0%
next 10,000 350 3.5%
next 40,000 2,800 7.0%
next 40,000 4,600 11.5%
next 40,000 6,000 15.0%
next 40,000 7,200 18.0%
next 40,000 7,600 19,0%
next 40,000 7,800 19,5%
next 40,000 8,000 20.0%
over 320,000 44,550 22.0%

Seems boring?

We can help you there. Our team of experienced accountants can manage the taxes for you. If you want additional information about Singapore taxation or our services, you may contact our expert.

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