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U.S. expat taxes in Singapore

As an American or green card holder working in Singapore, taking care of your U.S. taxes can feel like a complicated task. Knowing which tax rules affect you and understanding your options is a lot to stay on top of.

With H&R Block, you can rest easy knowing you’ve found the right expertise for U.S. expat taxes in Singapore. Our seasoned tax pros make filing simple and secure. Whether you need expat tax guidance on filing from abroad or information on FATCA and FBAR rules, we’re here to help.

What Americans living or working in Singapore should know

For starters, Americans and U.S. green card holders living in Singapore should continue to file a U.S. tax return each year. However, filing while abroad comes with new considerations and questions. “Do I have additional information to report to the IRS? How do my Singapore financial accounts affect my filing? What options do I have to reduce my tax bill?”

We’ve outlined a few considerations for U.S. citizens working in Singapore, so you know what affects the tax you pay and which forms you need to file. Of course, tax rules for U.S. expats go beyond what we’ve listed below.

Need help? Our experienced tax advisors have seen it all and are here for you when you’re ready to tackle your taxes.

U.S. Expat Tax Filing Considerations

Living as an American in Singapore can affect your taxes even if you don’t stay for very long. For example, if you earn income while on a short-term assignment, you’ll need to report that income on your U.S. taxes. As you establish deeper financial roots in Singapore, you’ll have more considerations for your American tax filing.

You may need to report your Singapore financial accounts and assets. Generally, U.S. taxpayers with more than $10,000 in foreign bank or financial accounts are subject to FBAR filing and reporting requirements. You may also be subject to FATCA reporting requirements if you have foreign assets valued at $200,000 and higher.

You can lower your U.S. bill and avoid dual taxation with certain tax strategies. Expats may take advantage of one of two options, detailed below, to lower their taxes.

  • The foreign earned income exclusion allows you to exclude your wages from your U.S. taxes. This option is available to those who meet certain time-based residency requirements.
  • The foreign tax credit lets you claim a credit for income taxes paid to a foreign government.

Your tax rate and personal situation will determine which option is the best for you as a U.S. expat in Singapore. You can rely on your H&R Block tax advisor to confirm the best path for you.

Your Singapore Central Provident Fund (CPF) is not tax-free in the United States. There is no tax treaty between the U.S. and Singapore. Your contributions to a CPF are not tax deductible. Additionally, your employer’s CPF contributions are included as income.

Singapore Tax Filing Considerations

Your Singapore taxes are based on income earned within its borders vs. your residency. As an American working in Singapore, you’re taxed on Singapore sourced employment income. What if you’re not a resident? You’ll still owe taxes, but at the non-resident rate.

The income tax rates are different for residents vs. nonresidents.

  • For residents, income tax rates range from 2%-22%. Similar to taxes in the U.S., the percentage of tax that you pay increases as your income increases.
  • For nonresidents, employment income is taxed at 15% or the graduated rates of residents with personal allowances — whichever is higher. All other income is taxed at 22%.

The Singapore tax rates are moderately lower than U.S. tax rates, meaning many Americans who are living in Singapore would generally pay less in tax locally than in the U.S.

2019 tax rates

Tax rate Taxable Income
2% S$ 0 - S$ 30,000
S$ 200 plus 3.50% S$ 30,001 - S$ 40,000
S$ 550 plus 7.00% S$ 40,001 - S$ 80,000
S$ 3,350 plus 11.50% S$ 80,001 - S$ 120,000
S$ 7,950 plus 15.00% S$ 120,001 - S$ 160,000
S$ 13,950 plus 18.00% S$ 160,001 - S$ 200,000
S$ 12,150 plus 19.00% S$ 200,001 - S$ 240,000
S$ 28,750 plus 19.50% S$ 240,001 - S$280,000
S$ 36,550 plus 20.00% S$ 280,001 - S$ 320,000
S$ 44,550 plus 22.00% S$ 320,001-

The tax filing season is similar to the U.S. tax year, but with a few differences. Singapore taxes follow a January to December tax year. Tax returns are due April 15 for paper returns and April 18 for electronic returns. The extension deadline is June 20.

How H&R Block can help Americans working in Singapore

Our highly trained experts have helped thousands of Americans as they file their U.S. expat taxes in Singapore. You can trust our expertise and guidance to help you determine the best tax strategies for you.

Start your expat taxes for free today!