Demystifying Income Tax Relief: A Closer Look at Common Tax Credits in Singapore

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All articles are for education purposes only, and not to be taken as advice to buy/sell. Please do your own due diligence before committing to any trade or investments.


All articles are for education purposes only, and not to be taken as advice to buy/sell. Please do your own due diligence before committing to any trade or investments.

Group of tax professionals engaged in a discussion in a conference room, focusing on understanding relief and tax credits in Singapore, with laptops, documents, and coffee on the table.

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Introduction – A Simplified Guide to the Scheme of Tax Credits in Singapore

Navigating the complex world of income tax in Singapore can seem overwhelming. However, a fundamental understanding of common tax credits, reliefs, and the tax exemption scheme can significantly reduce your taxable income.

This article serves as your guiding light, steering you through the intricate network of tax reliefs, deductions, and ways to reduce tax available to you in Lion City.

Let’s embark on this journey of unraveling the intricacies of tax together – delve in for exclusive insights!

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding reliefs and tax credits in Singapore can help reduce your taxable income and save you money.
  • Some common tax credits and reliefs in Singapore include the Personal Tax Rebate, Parenthood Tax Rebate, deductions for rental expenses and donations, and tax deductions for self-employed individuals and employees.
  • By taking advantage of these tax credits and reliefs, individuals can maximize their savings, minimize their overall income tax burden, and make informed financial decisions.

A focused woman seated in her well-organized home office, navigating through financial documents on her desk, which includes a laptop and calculator, as she delves into understanding tax reliefs, rebates, and deductions within the Singaporean income tax system.

Overview of Tax Reliefs, Rebates, and Deductions in Singapore

The Singapore government has designed tax reliefs, rebates, and deductions as mechanisms to lower taxable income, thereby extending specific benefits to individuals. These strategies help lighten the tax burden and encourage and reward certain behaviors, such as investing in personal growth, supporting families, and planning for the future.

Personal Tax Rebate

The Singapore government grants a Personal Tax Rebate as a beneficial measure to lessen the tax load for tax residents in Singapore. This tax reduction method, a certain percentage of the final tax due fluctuates annually based on the government’s review.

Significantly, this rebate doesn’t depend on income tiers or targeted societal objectives, unlike other tax reliefs and rebates.

It functions as an automatic tax relief that aids all eligible tax residents, irrespective of their income level or familial circumstances – a particularly advantageous feature for traders, investors, and wage earners.

For optimal utilization of the Personal Tax Rebate and other tax-saving strategies in the Singapore tax landscape, it may be beneficial to engage the advice of a tax expert or refer to the guidelines provided by the IRAS.

Parenthood Tax Rebate (PTR)

Singapore presents a singular tax deduction scheme, the Parenthood Tax Rebate (PTR), meticulously tailored to assist and inspire Singaporean residents to grow their families financially.

Eligible individuals can apply for this rebate in the year succeeding their child’s birth, thereby providing immediate fiscal relief to new parents navigating the expenses associated with bringing up their newborns.

With its compelling rebates ranging between SGD 5,000 to SGD 20,000, it’s evident that PTR extends beyond a standard tax relief policy. This one-off reduction is set against either or both parents’ income tax obligation, which can lead to maximum tax relief.

Suppose there’s an unutilized balance from the initial PTR entitlement. In that case, individuals can take comfort in knowing it will automatically offset their income taxes over the following years until entirely used up. This eases the financial burden on new parents.

This innovative move by IRA Singapore aptly demonstrates how Singapore’s tax incentives align with governmental agendas, such as supporting population growth. However, the Parenthood Tax Rebate is just one aspect of our intricate taxation system’s broader spectrum of credits and reliefs.

Over the years, Singapore has become an attractive destination for business pursuits and lucrative personal investments. This is partly due to the tax policies strategically designed to foster economic growth while providing financial relief for residents.

Tax Deductions for Rental Expenses

Within Singapore’s dynamic financial landscape and under its comprehensive Income Tax Act, gaining a grasp of tax deductions pertinent to rental expenses can be a tactically beneficial move, potentially yielding significant savings. This holds true for residents and foreigners who lease out properties within the nation, as they must pay taxes on their rental income.

Interestingly, the government of Singapore offers property owners the opportunity to claim deductions on certain expenses related to their property from their taxable income.

This favorable policy, one of the many incentives in Singapore, encompasses deductions for interest accrued on loans utilized for the acquisition of the rented property, as well as costs associated with repairs and maintenance, among others, as per guidelines set forth by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).

By effectively leveraging these points when submitting your income tax return, you can decrease your overall tax liabilities, thereby enhancing your investment returns.

Tax Deductions for Donations

In Singapore, the government actively encourages philanthropy by providing tax deductions for qualifying donations made to approved Institutions of a Public Character (IPCs).

This tax relief for donations permits individuals to claim a notable 250% deduction for eligible donations made to the Community Chest or any other approved institution, which fundamentally helps to reduce tax liabilities.

For instance, if you were to contribute SG$100 to a recognized cause, such as Give2Children, you could deduct SG$250 from your assessable income. This essentially means that your qualifying donation not only aids a commendable cause but also enables you to enjoy significant tax relief in Singapore.

It’s crucial to remember that only IPC charities that the Commissioner has approved of Charities can receive tax-deductible donations within Singapore.

This strategic tax benefit, introduced by the Singapore government for causes that align with their vision, is designed to stimulate and reward charitable giving. This incentive is currently available globally and is set to remain in effect until the end of 2026 in Singapore.

Tax Deductions for Self-Employed Individuals

In Singapore, self-employed individuals can significantly benefit from tax deductions, including personal relief, to lessen their income tax burdens. By doing so, they can enhance their financial standing and effectively manage their income derived from various sources such as partnerships, trade, business, vocations, or professions.

For example, self-employed individuals can deduct certain costs directly associated with their work. This could comprise rental expenses if they utilize space for business purposes or even donations made to qualifying charities. Besides, certain types of income may even be subject to withholding tax or be tax-exempt, depending on the specifics of the individual’s situation.

By meticulously declaring their income, deductions, and tax reliefs through the myTax Portal in Singapore, self-employed individuals can ensure they fully utilize these deductions. This strategic approach can lead to maximizing their tax savings, further improving their financial status.

Tax Deductions for Employees

Employees in Singapore have the opportunity to leverage several tax deductions to reduce their chargeable income, thus minimizing their income tax. These deductions often encompass expenses incurred for work-related activities in Singapore, such as travel, meals, and entertainment, all of which can be claimed as tax-exempt to a certain extent.

Additionally, deductions can also be claimed for professional development courses and training programs that directly enhance the employee’s job-related skills.

Moreover, employees contributing to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) scheme enjoy further tax relief. The CPF contributions made by employees throughout the year can be subtracted from their taxable income, effectively decreasing the amount of income that is subject to taxation.

Furthermore, individuals who have voluntarily contributed to government-approved skill development initiatives, like the SkillsFuture Credit, can obtain extra personal income tax relief. These programs, which are part of what makes Singapore an attractive place for employment, aim to promote lifelong learning and skills enhancement among the workforce.

A professional man calculating financial figures at a cafe. He's intently working on tax estimation using a calculator, with coffee, laptop and financial documents scattered on his table, highlighting the tools and techniques for estimating personal tax credits in Singapore.

How to Calculate and Estimate Personal Tax Reliefs

Calculating and estimating personal tax reliefs involves adjusting for changes in tax relief, considering compulsory CPF contribution-related tax relief, child tax relief for parents, dependents tax reliefs, and other miscellaneous tax reliefs.

Adjusting for Changes in Tax Relief

Traders and investors need to understand how to adjust for changes in tax relief to maximize their tax savings. By regularly reassessing their eligibility for personal income tax reliefs and deductions, they can ensure they take advantage of all available opportunities to reduce their taxable income.

This includes adjusting for changes in the compulsory CPF contribution-related tax relief, utilizing child tax relief for parents, considering dependents’ tax reliefs, and exploring other miscellaneous tax reliefs.

By staying informed and proactive about these adjustments, traders and investors can effectively minimize their tax liability and increase their overall savings.

Compulsory CPF Contribution Related Tax Relief

One important aspect of income tax in Singapore is the compulsory CPF contribution-related tax relief. As a trader or investor, you can claim tax relief on your Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions.

The maximum amount of tax relief for CPF contribution is capped at 37% of the net trade income assessed. Maximizing your CPF Medisave contribution is advisable to benefit from more tax relief.

Additionally, there is a voluntary scheme called the Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) that encourages individuals to save for retirement and provides tax relief for contributions made to the SRS account.

Child Tax Relief for Parents

Parents in Singapore can utilize the child tax relief provisions to their advantage when calculating their Singapore income tax.

Under the provisions of the Qualifying Child Relief, parents are eligible to claim tax relief amounting to $4,000 per child. Moreover, in the case of a handicapped child, parents can claim an even more substantial relief of $7,500 under the Handicapped Child Relief scheme.

These relief provisions are not just limited to citizens but are also accessible to foreigners residing in Singapore. By capitalizing on these tax reliefs, parents have the opportunity to decrease their taxable income and subsequently save on their overall tax liability.

It’s critical for traders and investors to stay informed about these reliefs as part of their comprehensive financial planning strategy. Doing so allows them to maximize their savings and minimize expenditures. Being aware of the potential to claim a foreign tax credit is also key to an effective tax management strategy.

Dependents Tax Reliefs

Dependent tax reliefs are an important aspect of income tax in Singapore. These reliefs are designed to provide financial support for individuals who have dependents, such as children or elderly parents.

By claiming these reliefs, traders and investors can reduce their taxable income, resulting in a lower tax bill. It is worth noting that there are specific criteria that must be met to qualify for a dependent’s tax relief, so it is essential to understand the eligibility requirements before making any claims.

Being aware of these reliefs can help traders and investors maximize their savings and minimize their tax liabilities.

Other Miscellaneous Tax Reliefs

Other miscellaneous tax reliefs in Singapore can benefit traders and investors. Some of these include the Course Fees Relief, which provides tax deductions for educational courses that enhance skills and knowledge relevant to a current job or trade.

Investors can also take advantage of the CPF Cash Top-Up Relief, where topping up their or their loved ones’ CPF accounts can lead to additional tax savings. Additionally, individuals who contribute towards their own Medisave account or those of their family members can claim the Medisave Relief on top of other reliefs.

These miscellaneous tax reliefs help reduce the overall tax burden and maximize potential savings for traders and investors in Singapore.

Tax expert meticulously working on a calculator, with a pen in hand and a pile of financial documents on his desk with a dual monitor setup, embodying the smart strategies to minimize personal income tax in Singapore.

Tips to Reduce Personal Income Tax

To reduce personal income tax, individuals in Singapore can take advantage of general tax deductions, individual tax reliefs, and specific reliefs for working mothers.

General Tax Deductions

Traders and investors in Singapore can reduce their income tax by leveraging general tax deductions as a part of their tax strategy. These deductions enable individuals to subtract certain costs from their taxable income, effectively reducing their tax payable.

Prominent examples of general tax deductions encompass business-related expenses like office supplies or travel costs incurred directly in relation to investment activities. Moreover, individuals might also be in a position to deduct professional fees paid for financial consultation or research services.

By meticulously recording and preserving the details of these deductible expenses, traders and investors can maximize their savings during the year of assessment in Singapore. Additionally, awareness and understanding of the personal income tax relief cap can play a crucial role in developing an effective tax-saving strategy.

Individual Tax Reliefs

One of the ways traders and investors can reduce their income tax in Singapore is by taking advantage of individual tax reliefs. These reliefs are designed to help individuals lower their taxable income and increase their savings.

For example, if you have a family, you may be eligible for child tax relief or parent relief schemes, which allow you to claim relief based on your dependents. Additionally, donating to a registered charity can help reduce your income tax, as donations are often tax-deductible.

Another strategy is investing in a Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS), which helps with retirement planning and provides tax relief benefits. By understanding and utilizing these individual tax reliefs, traders and investors can effectively reduce their income tax liability in Singapore.

Tax Relief for Working Mothers

Working mothers in Singapore can benefit from tax relief options to reduce their income tax liability. They can claim tax relief of up to $4,000 or $7,500 per child under the Qualifying Child Relief or Handicapped Child Relief, respectively.

These reliefs are especially important for higher-income working mothers who may receive a lower amount of tax relief starting in 2023 due to changes in the budget. However, lower-income mothers may receive more tax relief.

Understanding and taking advantage of these options can help working mothers navigate their taxes and potentially increase their savings.

A confused couple sitting on their living room floor amidst scattered financial documents and a calculator, symbolizing the complexities of understanding tax credits and reliefs in Singapore.

Resources and Tools for Understanding Tax Credits and Reliefs

Check out the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore website for comprehensive information on tax reliefs and credits. Use their Tax Relief Calculator to estimate your tax relief.

Seek insights and guidance from tax experts to navigate the complexities of Singapore’s income tax system.

Authority of Inland Revenue in Singapore

In Singapore, the Inland Revenue Authority (IRAS) is the organization in charge of overseeing tax regulations. They provide valuable resources and tools for traders and investors to understand tax credits and reliefs related to income tax.

As the Singaporean government’s largest revenue source, income tax plays a significant role in the country’s financial landscape. The IRAS offers a comprehensive guide on its website, which includes information on personal income tax rates, deductions, and the tax filing process.

Traders and investors can utilize these resources to navigate the complexities of taxation in Singapore effectively and ensure compliance with tax laws.

Tax Relief Calculator

You can use a Tax Relief Calculator to estimate your personal tax reliefs in Singapore easily. This tool helps you determine the amount of tax relief you are eligible for based on your income, deductions, and specific circumstances.

By inputting your financial information into the calculator, it automatically calculates and estimates your tax relief, allowing you to plan your taxes more effectively and potentially reduce your overall tax liability.

With just a few simple steps, you can better understand how different types of tax reliefs can impact your income tax.

Insights and Guidance from Tax Experts

Tax experts can provide valuable insights and guidance regarding understanding income tax credits and reliefs in Singapore. They have a deep understanding of tax laws and regulations, allowing them to provide accurate and up-to-date information on the available tax incentives.

These experts can help you navigate complex tax rules, ensuring you take advantage of all eligible deductions and credits. Whether it’s advice on maximizing personal tax reliefs or tips for reducing taxable income, seeking guidance from these professionals can be beneficial in optimizing your tax situation.


In summary, being well-versed in the range of tax credits and reliefs accessible in Singapore can substantially lessen your personal income tax load. Through utilizing these incentives like personal tax rebates, deductions for donations, or rental expenses, you can optimize your savings and amplify your financial growth.

Furthermore, tax exemption is available for specific income types, making you potentially eligible for reduced tax liability.

Remain updated with the latest tax rates and reliefs to make informed decisions for a prosperous future. For this reason, it is beneficial to seek guidance from tax professionals to ensure you are fully exploiting your potential savings and curbing your tax obligations to the least.

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Bryan Ang

Bryan Ang is a financial expert with a passion for investing and trading. He is an avid reader and researcher who has built an impressive library of books and articles on the subject.

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