Are you looking for a US tax accountant in Singapore?
Need help with your US tax planning?
Facing challenges with US expat tax filing?
Are you having questions about US income tax for expats?
Unsure about US taxes for expats in Singapore?
American Taxation Service in Singapore for US Expats and Those Exposed to the US Tax System
Many of our clients will agree that HTJ.tax is the best US tax service in Singapore for Americans living and working here.
We are an American company that provides American taxes services to Americans living abroad as well as everyone exposed to the US taxation Singapore system.
We are a certified IRS tax preparer for Americans abroad who want help filing their taxes with the IRS or need advice on how to optimize their cross border tax obligations.
Hayden T Joseph does business as (DBA) Advanced American Tax. Advanced American Tax (a member of Moores Rowland Asia Pacific) provides a wide range of services for Americans living in Singapore as well as US expats who have exposure to the American tax system, including individuals, companies, and trusts.
The Leader of our US Tax Singapore Team has successfully completed the Comparative Tax Program at Harvard University. Read more…
We would like to begin by confirming four points –
1. If you are US exposed (citizen, green card or substantial presence), you are usually taxed on your worldwide income;
2. These tax obligations do not stop because you reside outside of the US;
3. Even if your earnings are under the threshold of the foreign earned income exclusion, and you reside outside of the US, you may still have to file US tax returns in Singapore;
4. Since the early 1970s, US persons have been obligated to report any foreign financial assets once the maximum aggregate balance exceeds a certain threshold.
Why Choose Us As Your Prefered US Tax Preparer in Singapore?
We work on International Tax in general, and United States International Tax in particular
Deductions and allowances for the US expats
Most US expats in Singapore are not aware that they can claim certain deductions and allowances to reduce their tax liability in the US. They may be eligible for reduced rates on taxes withheld from their compensation, deducting moving expenses, or taking advantage of foreign earned income exclusions which could save them thousands of dollars each year.
We will review your situation with you and make recommendations on the best way to reduce your tax liability.
100% Accurate US Tax Compliance
When you are a US citizen / US expat living in Singapore, it is essential to comply with the very complicated tax codes of both countries. This can be quite daunting for many people and they often find themselves in trouble because of this complexity. They end up owing taxes that would have been avoided had they taken care of their obligations from the beginning. HTJ will ensure that you are compliant and avoid any potential penalties.
Services for Everyone Exposed to the US Tax System
HTJ is also here for those who have no intention of living in America again, but still require tax help or advice about their exposure to American taxes. If you work remotely from Singapore (e.g., as a freelancer or digital nomad) or just make money in American dollars (e.g., through currency exchange), then your income will be subject to American taxation laws even if all other aspects of your life reside outside America’s borders, and HTJ can handle this complexity on your behalf with ease!
Income Tax and Self-Employment Tax Assistance for US Expats in Singapore
HTJ provides tax assistance to both employees of American companies or freelancers who work remotely from Singapore on a project basis as well as individuals receiving income through currency exchange. We can help you with your American tax obligations and ensure you are compliant with the IRS.
Utilizing our US Tax Services in Singapore Will Save You Time and Effort
There are many reasons to choose HTJ.tax for your American tax service in Singapore, but our main focus is reducing the stress and time involved with filing taxes for Americans abroad.
We’re a great option if you need help with your US taxes but don’t have the time to deal with all of that complexity yourself. We will explain each and every step in detail so you know what’s going on, and we’ll work hard at making sure everything is accurate for an optimal outcome.
We are the Most Established and Trusted US Tax Consultancy in Singapore.
We’ve been providing our US tax consultancy services to Americans living in Singapore for over a decade now, and we’re still the go-to company when it comes to filing taxes with the IRS.
We Offer Competitive Rates and Personalized Service That is Tailored to Your Needs
While we may not be the cheapest US tax preparer in Singapore, our rates are priced competitively, and we offer personalized service which is tailored to your needs.
We Guarantee 100% Confidentiality and Discretion at All Times
Most of our clients are high net-worth individuals that demand complete confidentiality and discretion. You can count on us to keep your information private, so don’t worry about the potential for embarrassment or legal implications in regards to any sensitive matters we might have to discuss with you.
We Have Multiple Offices All Over the World so We Can Assist Your US Tax Needs Wherever You Go
Many of our clients tend to change locations every few years, which is why we have offices all over the world that can handle your US tax needs no matter where you are. Some of our locations include Portugal, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates (Dubai), Spain, and, well, Singapore.
We Are a Company That Offers US Tax Advice, not Just Accounting Services
Our assistance goes beyond just helping you with your tax returns. We also offer help on topics such as US estate planning, asset protection, and immigration law matters for Americans living abroad.
HTJ provides a full range of services to comply with the very complicated tax codes of both countries.
Our Team is Composed of professional US Tax Experts Based in Singapore Who Know How to Handle All Your Needs
Every member of our team is a professional US Tax Accountant. They have years of experience dealing with the complexities that arise from this special situation and will work hard to understand your needs so they can provide you with a tailored solution that is 100% guaranteed.
Our team members are experts in US tax law and have helped thousands of clients over the years. We know that this can be a daunting task, but we’ll do our best to make it as painless as possible for you.
Local Knowledge – We Know How to Help You Navigate Through All the Rules and Regulations That Apply to Americans Living in Singapore
To guarantee full compliance it is mandatory to know both the US and Singapore tax law. We are here to help you comply with both country’s regulations, as well as offer a full range of services so you can never find yourself in any situation without assistance.
We Have a Team of Qualified and Experienced American Tax Advisers Who Specialize in Helping Americans Living Abroad.
Our team is composed of US tax accountants based in Singapore. They have years of experience dealing with the complexities that arise from this special situation and will work hard to understand your needs so they can provide you with a tailored solution that is 100% guaranteed.
We are here for you, no matter what may come up when it comes to taxes.
We are conveniently located in the centre of Singapore
While we are primarily an online business and do not encourage walk-ins, we do have an office in Singapore. Our US tax consultancy services are always available online, but if you need to meet with someone face-to-face that’s not a problem either.
You Can Rely on Us to Provide You with Quality Service Throughout Your US Tax Return Process
Should you need references from our existing clients, we will be happy to provide them for you.
We Speak English So There is No Need to Worry About Language Barriers
While our multi-national team is located in different parts of the world, we all speak English so you can rest assured that there will be no miscommunication when it comes to your taxes.
US Taxes for Expats in Singapore
- Although there is no US tax treaty with Singapore, you can still use the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, foreign tax credits, and the foreign housing exclusion to save on your US expat taxes.
- US citizens are required to pay Social Security taxes, even if they also contribute to the Singapore Central Provident Fund (the local Social Security equivalent) because the countries do not have a Social Security agreement.
- If you are self-employed in Singapore, you will need to adhere to additional tax obligations to make sure you are compliant in both countries.
- US citizens with bank accounts or other financial assets in Singapore may be required to report those funds to the IRS by filing the FBAR form.
Our US Tax Expertise Includes:
Individual clients come to us with complex, multi-jurisdiction tax issues related to cross-border employment and investment opportunities. Similar to an interpreter or guide who helps travelers understand the language and customs of a particular country, we explain tax concepts and laws that are foreign to our clients. We prepare U.S. federal and state income tax returns for U.S. expatriates, foreign nationals and individuals with international financial interests.
Our international tax consulting expertise includes analysis of tax treaties, sourcing of income, and reporting of foreign bank accounts, as well as foreign corporations, partnerships and trusts. As consultants, we help individual clients develop cost-effective strategies, propose solutions and prepare individual tax projections. We also work closely with our clients’ attorneys and other advisors to provide comprehensive advice
We have significant experience assisting our clients with complicated, international tax issues.
The following list represents some of the areas in which we have provided both planning and compliance services for our clients:
- US shareholders of foreign corporations
- US partners in foreign partnerships
- US grantors and beneficiaries of foreign trusts
- US shareholders of Passive Foreign Investment Companies (PFICS)
- Reporting for Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs)
- Blocked income reporting for deferral of tax in currency restriction situations
- Donations to foreign charities by US private foundations via expenditure responsibility grants
- Income tax treaty analysis for various issues including determination of residency, re-sourcing of income to avoid double taxation, reduction or exemption of tax
- Determination of residency for income tax purposes for foreign nationals including optimization of elections for first and last year of residency
- Social Security tax implications to compensation of foreign nationals and US expatriates including application and analysis of Totalization agreements
- Foreign tax credit optimization including analysis of paid versus accrued methods and maximizing foreign source income
- Optimization for US expatriates including analysis of foreign tax credit versus foreign earned income exclusions
- Reporting of foreign rental properties including proper depreciation methods and treatment of rental of a principal residence
- Reporting and planning for US real property interests by nonresidents including applications for reduction/exemption from withholding on sale proceeds
- Reporting and planning for nonresidents with US investments or US effectively-connected income
- State residency and domicile issues for foreign nationals and US expatriates
- Reporting gifts and inheritances from nonresidents
- Consulting to employers of international assignees relating to tax equalization policy development and application, tax planning for international assignments including coordination with tax advisors in local jurisdictions, compensation structuring, payroll reporting and employee education and tax return preparation
- Determination of residency for US citizens in US possessions
- Given the uniqueness of the U.S. Tax Code, we are perfectly positioned to assist American Citizens, American Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) and American companies who want to expand to Asia with:
- Incorporation and corporate structuring
- Annual returns for both Asia and the United States
- Work passes across the region
- Corporate secretarial and full accounting services
For American Citizens, American Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) and American companies already in Asia and Europe, we can assist with U.S. tax issues including -
- US Tax Amnesty – both Offshore Voluntary Disclosure (OVDP) and US Streamlined Tax Amnesty
- FATCA compliance including Form 8966, W-8 Ben-E and entity analysis
- Reporting of foreign companies, partnerships and foreign trusts
- Passive Foreign Investment Companies (PFICs)
- Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBARs)
- Pre-immigration Tax Planning
- Cross border tax planning
- Expat Salary negotiation
- Corporate structuring
- ITINs (U.S. Tax IDs)
- Ordinary 1040s
With economies rather stagnating in much of the western world outside the US, a new dawn has broken in Asia raising fresh hopes that having learned the bitter lessons of fiscal prudence the region is finally ready to fulfil its promise to make this century ‘the Asian century’. True there is much to do, but the introduction of major political and economic reforms across the region augurs well for the future, particularly in the medium term, especially as a new more vibrant leadership has come to the fore. That is not to say everything will be plain sailing, of course, but the prospects for a prosperous journey look fair indeed. To help guide you along the way, the Moores Rowland firms across Asia combine global knowledge and best practices with core Asian values to produce seasoned yet individually tailored courses of action to best suit your needs.
Moores Rowland Asia firms provide a range of professional services with a focus on audit, tax, accounting, payroll, risk advisory, IFRS, restructuring and transaction support. Beyond these, our member firms also offer a wide range of specialist services from expatriate advice to human resource consulting. Moores Rowland clients are increasingly looking beyond their national borders for new opportunities. The close relationships within the network mean that clients can easily be connected to a like-minded firm of professionals in another country, that they can be assured will have their business interests at heart – no matter what services are required or where they are needed.
A Few Reasons to Choose Us as Your Preferred American Expat Taxation Service in Singapore
Taxes in Singapore for Americans and US Expats
Going to or leaving Singapore
Local tax information for Singapore.
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)
1 January to 31 December
Tax return due date
Is joint filing possible
Are tax return extensions possible
Who is liable?
A person is subject to tax on employment income for services performed in Singapore, regardless of whether the remuneration is paid in or outside Singapore. Resident individuals who derive income from sources outside Singapore are not subject to tax on such income. This exemption does not apply if the foreign-source income is received through a partnership in Singapore. Foreign-source dividend income, foreign branch profits and foreign-source service income received by any individual resident in Singapore through partnerships may be exempted from Singapore tax if certain prescribed conditions are met.
Individuals who carry on a trade, business, profession or vocation in Singapore are taxed on their profits. Whether an individual is carrying on a trade is determined based on the circumstances of each case. Foreign-source income received in Singapore by a non-resident is specifically exempt from tax.
Residence status for tax purposes
Individuals are resident for tax purposes if, in the year preceding the assessment year, they reside in Singapore except for such temporary absences from Singapore as may be reasonable and not inconsistent with a claim by such persons to be resident in Singapore. This also includes those who are physically present or who exercise employment other than as a director of a company in Singapore for at least 183 days during the year preceding the assessment year.
A concession is available for foreign employees whose employment period straddles two calendar years. Under this concession, which is commonly known as the “two-year administrative concession”, the individual is considered resident for both years if they stay or work in Singapore for a continuous period of at least 183 days straddling the two years, even if fewer than 183 days were spent in Singapore in each year.
Non-resident individuals employed for not more than 60 days in a calendar year in Singapore are exempt from tax on their employment income derived from Singapore. This exemption does not apply to a director of a company, a public entertainer or a professional in Singapore.
Under the Not Ordinarily Resident (NOR) scheme, a qualifying individual may enjoy tax concessions for five consecutive assessment years, including time apportionment of Singapore employment income, if certain conditions are satisfied.
US expat in Singapore income tax filing
US expats living in Singapore may have to file an income tax form every year. If this is the case, there are three forms to choose from:
- Employed Singapore residents should file their taxes using Form B1
- Self-employed Singapore residents should file their taxes using Form B
- Non-residents should file their taxes using Form M
Income subject to tax
Taxable employment income includes cash remuneration, wages, salary, leave pay, directors’ fees, commissions, bonuses, gratuities, perquisites, gains received from employee share plans and allowances received as compensation for services. Benefits-in-kind derived from employment, including home-leave passage, employer-provided housing, employer-provided automobiles and children’s school fees, are also taxable. Certain types of these benefits receive special tax treatment. Effective from the 2020 assessment year, the prescribed formula to calculate the taxable car benefit in Singapore has been revised to better reflect the actual benefits enjoyed by the employees and to simplify tax compliance.
Under the Not Ordinarily Resident (NOR) scheme, a resident employee whose resident status is not accorded under the two-year or three-year administrative concessions may benefit from certain concessions for five consecutive assessment years provided certain conditions are met. Under a 2019 budget proposal, the last such NOR status will be from the 2020 assessment year to the 2024 assessment year. Individuals who have been accorded the NOR status will continue to enjoy NOR tax concessions until their NOR status expires if they continue to meet the conditions of the concessions.
Self-employment and business income – Self-employment income subject to tax is based on financial accounts prepared under generally accepted accounting principles. Adjustments are made to the profits or losses according to tax law. Business income is aggregated with other types of income to determine taxable income.
Income from a trade, business, profession or vocation paid to a non-resident is taxed at 22%.
Income from professional services paid to a non-resident is taxed at 15%. This is a final withholding tax on the gross amount, unless the non-resident professional elects to be assessed at a rate of 22% on net income.
Losses and excess capital allowances from the carrying on of a trade, business, profession or vocation may be offset against all other chargeable income of the same year. Any unused trade losses and capital allowances can be carried forward indefinitely for offset against future income from all sources, subject to certain conditions.
Relief is also available for the carry back of current year unused capital allowances and trade losses, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions.
Investment income – Under the one-tier system, dividends paid by Singapore tax-resident companies are exempt from income tax in the hands of shareholders, regardless of whether the dividends are paid out of taxed income or tax-free gains.
Dividends, other than tax-exempt and one-tier dividends, are taxed at the applicable income tax rates.
Singapore-source investment income (that is, income that is not considered to be gains or profits from a trade, business or profession) derived directly by individuals from specified financial instruments, including standard savings, current and fixed deposits, is exempt from tax. Examples of such income include interest from debt securities, annuities and distributions from unit trusts.
Interest (excluding tax-exempt interest from approved banks, finance companies, qualifying debt securities and qualified project debt securities) paid to non-residents is taxed at 15%.
Royalties for the use of, or right to use, movable property and scientific, technical, industrial or commercial knowledge or information paid to non-residents are taxed at 10%.
Net rental income is aggregated with other types of income and taxed at the applicable rates.
Rent or other payments for the use of movable property paid to non-residents is taxable at 15%.
Taxation of employer-provided stock options and share ownership plans – Employer-provided stock options are taxed at the time of exercise, not at the time of grant. Share awards are taxable at the time of award or at the time of vesting, if a vesting period is imposed. The taxable amount is the open market value of the shares at the time of exercise, award or vesting, less the amount paid by the employee, if any.
Stock options and share awards granted during overseas employment are not subject to tax even if the gains derived are remitted into Singapore while the employee is a tax resident, because all foreign-source income received in Singapore (other than through partnerships) by resident individuals is exempt from tax. Stock options and share awards granted on or after 1 January 2003 while the employee is engaged in employment in Singapore are subject to tax, regardless of where the options are exercised or shares are vested. These options and awards are deemed exercised or vested at the time of cessation of employment (including being seconded outside Singapore for an assignment or leaving Singapore for a period more than three months) for a foreign national employee, and tax is due immediately on the deemed gains.
Singapore does not impose tax on capital gains. However, in certain circumstances, the tax authorities consider transactions involving the acquisition and disposal of real estate, stocks or shares to be the carrying on of a trade. As a result, gains arising from such transactions are taxable. The determination of whether such gains are taxable is based on a consideration of the facts and circumstances of each case.
The buyer of property must pay stamp duty on the value of the property purchased. Certain buyers of residential properties (including residential land) must pay additional buyer’s stamp duty, in addition to the usual stamp duty. Sellers of residential and industrial properties may be liable for seller’s stamp duty depending on when the property was purchased and the holding period. Specified sellers of industrial properties may be liable for stamp duty.
Social Security Impact on Your US Expat Taxes
The Singapore equivalent of Social Security is called the Central Provident Fund (CPF).
The Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a statutory savings scheme to provide for employees’ old-age retirement in Singapore. Only Singapore citizens and permanent residents working in Singapore are required to contribute to the CPF. All foreigners (including Malaysians) are exempt from CPF contributions. Foreigners may not make voluntary contributions to the CPF.
As an expatriate, you are not required to make payments into the Singapore CPF. You will be once you have been approved for permanent residency status by the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority of Singapore. If you decide to become a permanent resident of Singapore, you and your employer will both make contributions into the CPF. The total contribution on your behalf into CPF will total 30% of your annual salary, with 10% coming from your employer and the remainder coming from you.
Both employees and employers must contribute to the fund. For individuals up to 55 years of age, the statutory rate of the employee’s contribution is 20%, and the rate of the employer’s contribution is 17%. Lower contribution rates apply to individuals over 55 years of age. Special transitional contribution rates apply to foreigners who become Singapore permanent residents.
Self-employed individuals who carry on a trade, business, profession or vocation may also participate in the CPF scheme.
A Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) allows Singapore citizens and permanent residents to elect to contribute to private funds in addition to their CPF contributions. Foreigners working in Singapore may also participate in the scheme. Contributions are deductible but are subject to a cap.
If you are a US citizen and self-employed in a foreign country, you are still required to pay US Social Security and Medicare taxes on your earnings. You will pay both the employee and employer portion via Schedule SE on your US Expat Taxes. However, if you are an employee of a foreign employer and required to pay taxes into the foreign country’s social security equivalent, you are not required to pay US Social Security tax.
US Expat Tax Treaty
There has yet to be a treaty established between the United States and Singapore. Despite the lack of treaty, each country offers a tax credit designed to eliminate dual taxation. In the US, this is called the foreign tax credit. In Singapore, this is called the unilateral tax credit, which services the same purpose. Both will give credit for taxes paid to a foreign country.
US Expat Taxes for Employees in Singapore
If you are an employee of a Singapore-based company, your income will be subject to Singapore income tax. Unfortunately, as a US citizen, the income earned in Singapore will also be subject to US expat taxes. The good news is that the US provides a series of exclusions and credits (mentioned above) for income earned and taxes paid in foreign countries. The ultimate goal is optimizing your worldwide tax liability.
US Expat Taxes for the Self-Employed in Singapore
Similar to US requirements, self-employed individuals operating their business in Singapore must pay taxes on their net profits to Singapore. Foreign individuals planning to start a business in Singapore must obtain an EntrePass prior to beginning business. More information on the EntrePass can be obtained from the Singapore Government website. As a US Citizen, the IRS requires that you continue to report and pay tax on your self-employment earnings on your US expat taxes. It does not matter where the income is earned, but you will still qualify to receive the exclusions and credits mentioned above.