An Overview Of The Tax Landscape in Singapore

An Overview Of The Tax Landscape in Singapore

Singapore's robust tax framework and business-friendly policies have positioned it as a global hub for businesses and entrepreneurs. Understanding the various types of taxes in Singapore and embracing tax innovation is crucial for efficient financial management and strategic decision-making. Let's delve into the tax landscape for Singapore companies.

Corporate Taxes

Corporate tax treatment in Singapore is known for its simplicity and competitiveness. The corporate income tax rate is a flat rate, and there is no distinction between corporations and unincorporated businesses.

Corporate Income Tax

Singapore adopts a single-tier tax system, where tax is imposed on a company's chargeable income. The current corporate tax rate is 17%.

Small-to-Midsize entities may benefit general tax exemptions and incentives applicable to Singapore tax resident companies, contributing to a substantial reduction in the effective income tax.

A partial tax exemption and a three-year start-up tax exemption for qualifying start-up companies are available.

Partial tax exemption (income taxable at normal rate):

Chargeable income

% exempted from Tax

Amount exempted from Tax

First $10,000



Next $190,000



Total $200,000



Start-up tax exemption (income taxable at normal rate):

Chargeable income

% exempted from Tax

Amount exempted from Tax

First $100,000



Next $100,000



Total $200,000



Goods and Services Tax (GST)

While not a corporate tax, the Goods and Services Tax is a consumption tax levied on the supply of goods and services in Singapore. The standard GST rate is 9% unless the sale can be zero-rated or exempted under the GST law.

Supplies that are exempt from GST include

  • The provision of financial services;
  • The supply of digital payment tokens (with effect from 1 Jan 2020);
  • The sale and lease of residential properties; and
  • The import and local supply of investment precious metals (IPM).

GST need not be charged on exempt supplies.

Zero-rated Sale

Even if your taxable turnover exceeds the registration restrictions, you can request for an exemption from registration if you only make zero-rated deliveries. This allows you to avoid the administrative burden of GST registration and quarterly GST filing. If more than 90% of your total taxable supply are zero-rated and your input tax exceeds your output tax, IRAS will grant the exemption.

Individual Tax

Individual tax in Singapore is known as Personal Income Tax. Similar to the corporate tax system, Singapore employs a progressive tax rate for individuals.

Progressive Tax Rates: The tax rates for individuals are progressive, ranging from 0% to 22%, based on the individual's annual income. Here's a simplified breakdown:

On the first SGD 20,000


On the next SGD 10,000


On the next SGD 10,000


On the next SGD 40,000


On the next SGD 40,000


On the next SGD 40,000


On the next SGD 40,000


On the next SGD 40,000


On the next SGD 40,000


On any amount above SGD 320,000



Other Taxes

Property Tax
: Applicable to owners of properties in Singapore. Rates vary based on property values.

Stamp Duty
: Imposed on various transactions, including property transfers and stock transfers. Rates vary based on the nature of the transaction.

Customs and Excise Duties
: Singapore is a free port, and there are no tariffs on general imports. Duties may apply to specific goods such as tobacco and motor vehicles.

Tax Innovation and Planning

Singapore provides a conducive environment for tax-efficient structuring and planning, such as:

  • Strategic Structuring: Businesses can strategically structure their operations to optimize tax liability, exploring options like regional holding companies.
  • Transfer Pricing: Ensuring fair pricing for transactions between related entities is crucial to mitigate transfer pricing challenges.
  • Tax Incentives: Singapore offers various tax incentives, including those for research and development expenses, intellectual property income, and global trading companies.
  • Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs): Exploiting DTAs can prevent double taxation on income earned in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Innovation and Technology: Singapore's commitment to innovation and technology is evident through government initiatives.
  • Research and Development (R&D) Incentives: Tax deductions are available for qualifying R&D expenses.
  • Enhanced Capital Allowances: Businesses investing in qualifying activities can benefit from enhanced capital allowances.


Navigating the tax landscape for Singapore companies involves understanding the diverse tax types, embracing innovative strategies, and capitalizing on the government's initiatives for innovation and technology.

Contact us today to embark on your tax journey in Singapore.

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