It’s tax season in Singapore: make sure you know how to get all the parenting and family discounts you’re entitled to, in particular the parenthood tax rebate!
Singapore’s income tax system is refreshingly straightforward and user-friendly (you can even file from your phone or an AXS machine!), but it’s also good to know exactly what parent and family rebates and levy relief options you qualify for as a family in Singapore. Even expats – as long as they pay taxes – are eligible for some relief.
Who pays taxes in Singapore?
According to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), an individual will be assessed as a tax resident if they are:
- Singapore Citizen (SC) or Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) who resides in Singapore except for temporary absences; or
- Foreigner who has stayed / worked in Singapore (excludes director of a company) for 183 days or more in the year preceding the YA.
Now check out our guide to the key parent- and family-friendly tax rebates in Singapore, which are intended to save families in Singapore money. We’ve spelled out the nitty gritty in as clear of language as possible, while also linking to the relevant IRAS (Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore) site. Good luck, mamas!
This onetime tax abatement can be claimed in the year following a child’s birth (though any child born after 2008 is currently eligible if you haven’t claimed previously). You can claim for every child you have, and in fact get rewarded the more children you have! If you and your spouse are both tax-paying residents, you can share PTR based on apportionment.
Who qualifies: Anyone who is a Singapore tax resident that is married, divorced, or widowed in the relevant year, with a child who is a Singapore citizen at the time of birth (or within 12 months thereafter). NB: There are other qualifiers if a child is adopted or parents become married subsequent to a child’s birth but register them before turning 6. Click here for a simple eligibility tool.
How much money do you save? Parents receive a $5,000 offset for their first child, an additional $10,000 for their second child, and $20,000 each for their third, fourth, and any subsequent children. Any unutilized balance is automatically carried forward to offset your future tax payable; think of your kids as the gift that keeps on giving!
Available to tax-paying expats as well as Singapore citizens and PRs who employ a helper, the FML is meant to encourage married women to stay in the workforce (single and married men are not eligible). The amount of relief offsets earned income.
Who qualifies: Any woman or her husband who employed a foreign domestic worker in 2018 and…
- Are married and live together
- Are married but the husband is not a tax resident in Singapore; or
- A woman who is separated, divorced or widowed and has children who lived with her and on whom she could claim child reliefs.
Single and married men are not eligible for this relief.
How much money do you save? With this deduction, you may claim twice the total foreign domestic worker levy paid in the previous year on one foreign domestic worker. For instance, in 2018 when the monthly levy was $265, an individual could have claimed $3,180 ($265 x 12).
With an intention to reward families with children who are Singapore citizens, and encourage women to remain in the workforce after having children, the WMCR enables women to claim 15- 25% off their earned income (with an income relief cap of $80,000).
Who qualifies: A woman who…
- Is a working mother who is married, divorced or widowed;
- Has taxable earned income from employment or through pensions, from trade or business, or through a profession or vocation. (taxable earned income is your total earned income less allowable expenses.)
- Has maintained a child who is a Singapore Citizen as at 31 Dec 2018 and has satisfied all conditions under the Qualifying Child Relief (QCR) or Handicapped Child Relief (HCR).
How much money do you save? A woman can claim 15% of her income against her first child, 20% of earned income against her second child, and 25% of her income for a third (or fourth, or fifth, etc.) child. The total claim is capped at 100% of the mother’s earned income, with a total personal income relief cap of $80,000. WMCR can be combined with Qualifying Child/Handicapped Child Relief (see below), but the total cap is $50,000 per child.
This basic deduction gives families a standard credit per child in the household;
Who qualifies: Singapore citizens with any child under 16 who did not earn more than $4,000, OR any child who is considered mentally or physically handicapped. QCR/HCR can be shared between parents. Click here for the full explanation of who qualifies.
How much money do you save? Families can deduct $4,000 per child under Qualifying Child Relief, or $7,500 per child under Handicapped Child Relief. Parents may claim one relief per child (not both), and a woman may claim up to $50,000 in combination with Working Mother’s Child Relief.
Do your parents or in-laws help look after your kiddos? GCR is given to working mothers whose parents, grandparents, parents-in-law or grandparents-in-laws (including those of ex-spouses) take care of their children.
Who qualifies: The GCR applies to a working mother who is married, divorced or widowed. She must be living in Singapore with at least one child who is a Singapore citizen aged 12 or younger as of 2018 (if a child is handicapped the age restriction does not apply).
Caregivers must also be living in Singapore (this can include foreign dependants, so long as they’ve been there for a period of at lest 8 months), and not working or carrying on any other trade, business, profession, vocation in 2018. Note that only one person can claim on any particular caregiver (for instance, if you and your brother both rely on your parents, you could not both claim GCR on your mother).
How much money do you save? You can claim up to $3,000 in GCR.
Filing for the Year of Assessment 2020 begins on 1 March 2020, with an e-filing deadline of 18 April. Click here to get further details and information from IRAS.