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3 Ways to Reduce Your Income Tax In 2018

reduce income taxWe are aware that many of you are thinking about how you may reduce your income tax. Fortunately, the government gives deductions on income tax to encourage positive behaviors such as giving donations, preparing for retirement or upgrading yourself.

Before we start, you need to know some of the basic things about Income Tax.

The table below is a non-exhaustive list of taxable and non-taxable income:

Taxable IncomeNon-Taxable Income
Part-Time/Freelance WorkOverseas Earnings
Salary from EmploymentLottery (e.g. 4D, Toto)
BonusCapital Gains (e.g. stock profits, property investments)
Rental IncomeGovernment Pension
AnnuityAlimony and Maintenance Payment

The table below refers to the chargeable income meaning the total amount that you would be traced after deducting personal reliefs from your assessable income:

Chargeable Income

Income Tax Rate (%)

Gross Tax Payable ($)

First $20,000
Next $10,000

0
2

0
200

First $30,000
Next $10,000

3.50

200
350

First $40,000
Next $40,000


7
550
2,800
First $80,000
Next $40,000


11.5

3,350
4,600

First $120,000
Next $40,000


15

7,950
6,000

First $160,000
Next $40,000


18

13,950
7,200

First $200,000
Next $40,000

19

21,150
7,600

First $240,000
Next $40,000

19.5

28,750
7,800

First $280,000
Next $40,000

20

36,550
8,000

First $320,000
In excess of $320,000


22

44,550

Source: IRAS

If you realise that your income tax is rather high, it’s not too late to take action. So here are the 3 ways you can reduce your income tax.

  • Donate to Charity (Approved Institution)

Take note! You can’t just donate to anybody and claim your tax relief. Your donation has to be made to a registered tax-deductible charity, an approved institution, which would allow you, the donor, to claim tax relief of 250% of the amount donated. It may not seem much if you are donating in hundreds of dollars but if you are donating in thousands, tens or hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, making tax deductible donations to approved-charitable institutions will really help you bring down your chargeable income.

If you’re earning $50,000 a year, and you donated 10% of your income which is $5000, then your taxable income will be $50000 – $12,500 = $37,500. Of course, when it comes to the higher income earners, their tax deductable amount will be more but understand that the percentage of tax they need to pay will be much more as well.

All donations must be made before the end of 2018 for you to claim your tax relief for 2018.

  • Use CPF Supplementary Retirement Scheme

The Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) is a voluntary scheme to encourage individuals to save for retirement, above their CPF savings. Contributions to SRS are eligible for tax relief and the annual SRS contribution cap is currently set at $15,300 for Singaporeans and PRs, and $35,700 for foreigners.

Contibutions to the SRS account is usable for investments. The great thing is that the returns are tax-free before withdrawal and only 50% of the withdrawals from SRS are taxable at retirement. For SRS relief, you do not need to make a claim in your tax returns as it will be allowed automatically based on information provided by the SRS operator.

  • Top-Up Your CPF Voluntarily

As we all know, there are pros and cons to having your money locked away in your CPF but it is created for your retirement. So if you are planning to use just save your money in a savings account or use it to invest, it may be a lot more beneficial for you to top-up your, and/or your family member’s CPF Special Account (SA).

The benefit here is that every dollar contributed through voluntary CPF top-ups makes you eligible for a dollar-for-dollar tax relief for your income tax. So what this is that you will enjoy tax reliefs of up to $7,000 for yourself and up to $7,000 for your family member’s SA account. By lowering your chargeable income by up to $14,000, you may fall into a lower tax bracket and enjoy greater tax savings! On top of that, your money is now technically in a risk-free investment instrument that give you 4% interest annually!

So Why Wait?

To those who may not be aware, to continue encouraging Singaporeans to give back to the community, the Minister of Finance has announced in Budget 2018 that the 250% tax deduction for qualifying donations that supposedly will end in 2018 will now be extended for another three years until 31 December 2021! So that gives you more time to do good, help the community and save on your taxes!

If you do have any questions, do feel free to contact us!

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