7 Things Expats in Singapore Need to Know About US Taxes Living Abroad


As a bustling cosmopolitan city with a vibrant multicultural lifestyle, Singapore attracts a large number of US expats. But as with every overseas move, it’s important to understand the tax laws that will impact you in both your host and home country. This video explains the critical tax information you need to know as a US taxes living abroad in Singapore.

With a low crime rate and a global culture, Singapore attracts a large number of US expats. However, as a US expat, it’s important to know the tax laws for both your host country and your home country. Fortunately, we’ve outlined the 7 things you need to know as a US expat living in Singapore.

1. Tax Rates in Singapore

Singapore has relatively low income tax rates, which range from zero to 20 percent.  For certain individuals whose income is below a certain threshold, they will not have to file tax returns.

2. Singapore Residents

For tax purposes, US expats who live or work in Singapore for at least 183 days are considered residents. However, expats are not subject to taxes for income earned outside of Singapore

3. Tax Deadlines in Singapore

Like the US, the tax year in Singapore is from January 1 to December 31st, and tax returns are due on April 15th.  However, actual tax payments are not due until notices are mailed, which is usually in September.

4. Social Security Taxes

In Singapore, unless you are a permanent resident, you will not be required to pay into the social security system. This system, known as the Central Provident Fund, requires both employees and employers to make contributions. Typically, employers contribute 10 percent while employees contribute 20 percent.

5. Other Taxes in Singapore

In addition to wages, all other non-employment income is taxed at a rate of 20 percent. However, there are no capital gains or inheritance taxes.

Goods and Services are taxed at 3 percent.

6. FBAR Requirements for US Expats

If you are a US citizen or resident, you will still be required to file US taxes each year. If you have assets in foreign bank accounts, you may be required to report those as well. Specifically, anyone with 10,000 dollars or more in a foreign bank or financial institution during a calendar year will be required to file the FBAR.

7. Tax Credits for Americans in Singapore

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can lower or eliminate your US tax obligations. The first is the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, which allows you to exclude a certain amount from your foreign earned income on your US expat taxes.

The second is the foreign tax credit, which allows you to offset the taxes you paid in your host country with your US expat taxes dollar for dollar.

And third is the Foreign Housing Exclusion, which allows an additional exclusion from income on US expat taxes for certain amounts paid for household expenses that occur as a consequence of living abroad.

Have More Questions About US Expat Taxes?

If you would like more information about expat taxes, or want Greenback Expat Tax Services to prepare your return, please contact us.

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