Tax Saving Measures In Singapore

Understanding how to optimise your tax liabilities can significantly impact your financial well-being. You can minimize your tax liability by claiming tax deductions and reliefs. It should be noted that there is a cap on the total amount of tax relief you can claim each year, which is currently capped at S$80,000. Understanding and utilizing tax-saving measures allows you to keep more of your hard-earned income.

This article will explore the various tax saving measures in Singapore. We will provide insights and tips to help you maximize your earnings while being in compliance with the tax laws.


General Deductions On Employment Expenses

Deductible Expenses for Working from Home:

  • Additional expenses: If your employer requires you to work from home and you incur additional expenses such as higher electricity or telecommunication bills that are not reimbursed, you may claim these expenses as a tax deduction. It is important to keep the receipts for verification purposes.
  • Wi-Fi subscription fees: If you have a separate Wi-Fi subscription explicitly installed for work purposes, you can claim deductions for the monthly fees. However, if you continue to subscribe to the service even after you no longer work from home, the subscription fees would not be eligible for deduction.
  • Shared expenses: If multiple individuals in your household work from home, the expenses can be equally apportioned among all the working individuals. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) accepts this basis for computing shared expenses.

Remember to keep proper records and receipts to support your claims for tax deductions related to working from home.


Tax Deductions On Donations

You can make cash donations for community causes to an approved Institution of Public Character (IPC) or the Singapore government. It’s important to note that only cash donations are eligible for this tax deduction.


Course Fee Relief

To encourage individuals to upgrade their skills continuously, Course Fees Relief is given.

You can claim this relief for specific courses attended in the previous year that lead to a recognized academic and professional qualification.

The relief covers fees for aptitude tests, examinations, registration or enrolment, and tuition fees. However, courses for recreational purposes or general skills are not eligible.

You can claim the actual course fees to a maximum of $5,500 annually, irrespective of the number of courses, seminars or conferences you attended, excluding amounts paid or reimbursed by your employer or any other organizations (including the use of SkillsFuture Credit).

For individuals whose assessable income is below $22,000, you can defer your course fee relief claim.


Life Insurance Relief

If you’re currently out of a job or self-employed, chances are your CPF contributions have been low over the past year. However, if the sum total of your compulsory employee CPF contributions, Medisave or voluntary CPF contributions, and voluntary contributions to your Medisave account amount to less than S$5,000, you may be eligible for tax relief on the premiums you’ve paid for your own or your spouse’s life insurance policy.


NSman Relief

As a former NSman of the Singapore Armed Forces, you can benefit from a tax relief program that acknowledges your services to the country. Depending on your key appointment holder (KAH) status and NS duties performed in the previous year, you may be eligible for tax reliefs ranging from S$3,500 to S$5,000. Non-KAH NSMen can also enjoy tax reliefs of up to S$3,000.

If you are eligible, your spouse and parents will automatically receive in tax relief for the relevant year of assessment.


Contribution To CPF Account

An effective way to reduce your tax burden and benefit your future is by topping up your CPF Special Account. By doing so, the amount of tax you owe will automatically decrease. It’s important to note that your maximum cash top-up is S$7,000.

Additionally, you can also contribute to your parents’ CPF accounts, up to a maximum value of S$7,000, to enjoy additional tax relief. This means that the maximum tax relief you can receive in a year is S$14,000.


Deduction For Rental Expenses

If you’re a landlord in Singapore, you can benefit from tax relief on your rental expenses. These expenses include the costs you incurred in earning rental income, repairs and maintenance fees. You can claim tax relief on up to 15% of your gross rental income, which can help you reduce your tax bill. All receipts and documents related to your rental expenses will be kept to claim this tax relief.


Parent Relief

Parent Relief and Handicapped Parent Relief are tax reliefs given to individuals supporting their parents, grandparents, parents-in-law or grandparents-in-law in Singapore.

  • To qualify for the relief, the dependant must have lived in the taxpayer’s household in Singapore in the taxed year, or the taxpayer must have incurred $2,000 or more in supporting the dependant who lived in a separate household in Singapore.
  • The dependant must be 55 years of age or above in the taxed year for Parent Relief and physically or mentally disabled for Handicapped Parent Relief.
  • The dependant must not have an annual income exceeding $4,000 in the taxed year for Parent Relief, and this condition does not apply to Disabled Parent Relief.

The amount of relief depends on whether the taxpayer stays with the dependant or not and ranges from $5,500 to $9,000 for Parent Relief and $10,000 to $14,000 for Disabled Parent Relief per dependant.


Working Mothers Child Relief (Wmcr)

  • Working mothers who have hired a domestic helper or engaged their parents or parents-in-law to assist with child-caring duties can claim certain tax reliefs.
  • From YA2025, the WMCR will change to a fixed sum from a percentage of income, as announced in Budget 2023.

This change will benefit working mothers in the lower to middle-income groups who have their first child born or adopted on or after January 1, 2024, and earn an annual income of around $53,000 or less. The earnings considered for this change will be from the year 2024.


Foreign Domestic Worker Levy (FDWL) Relief

It is a tax relief that working mothers with school-going children can claim for the foreign domestic worker levy paid in the preceding year, and this relief is not available to singles and married men.


Grandparent Caregiver Relief (GCR)

It is a tax relief available to working mothers who rely on their parents, grandparents, parents-in-law, or grandparents-in-law for their children’s care. The relief amount is $3,000.

To claim this relief, the caregiver must meet the following requirements:

  • Reside in Singapore in 2022;
  • Provide care for a Singapore citizen child aged 12 years and below in 2021 or an unmarried disabled child who is a Singapore citizen in 2022;
  • Not engage in any employment in the previous year.

Starting from YA 2024, the government is relaxing the conditions for GCR, giving caregivers more flexibility to work. Working mothers can claim GCR if the caregiver’s total income from employment, trade, business, profession, or vocation does not exceed S$4,000, subject to certain conditions.



Singapore’s tax system offers various tax relief schemes that taxpayers can claim to reduce tax liability. Taxpayers must ensure they meet the qualifying conditions for each relief before claiming them. The IRAS website offers a personal relief checker to help taxpayers check their eligibility for each relief. It’s crucial to claim relief correctly to avoid penalties for incorrect claims.


Don’t miss out on tax savings!

Learn more about the various tax relief schemes in Singapore and claim what you’re eligible for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Foreigners working in Singapore are taxed based on the number of days they stay or work in the country. If they work for 60 days or less in a calendar year, they will be exempt from tax on their earnings. If they stay or work for 61 to 182 days, their income will be taxed at 15% or resident rates for individuals, whichever is higher. If they stay or work for 183 days or more, their income will be taxed at resident rates. If they stay or work in Singapore for three consecutive years, their income for all years will be taxed at resident rates.


Making a charitable donation to an IPC (Institute of a Public Character) registered in Singapore can provide tax relief. The amount of tax relief received can be up to 250% of the donated amount.


The cap on personal income tax relief, which has been in effect since the Year of Assessment (YA) 2018, applies to the total amount of all tax reliefs claimed. The purpose of the cap is to ensure that high-income earners do not excessively benefit from tax reliefs, while still allowing for some relief for the majority of taxpayers. The cap is set at $80,000 per YA.


Unfortunately, no. If the total amount of personal reliefs claimed exceeds the relief cap of $80,000, the reliefs allowed will be limited to that amount. Any excess reliefs claimed cannot be transferred or used in subsequent years.

However, if you anticipate exceeding the relief cap, you may consider giving up certain reliefs and letting other eligible individuals claim them instead. This can be done for reliefs such as Qualifying Child Relief, Parent Relief, and Grandparent Caregiver Relief, as long as the individual claiming the relief satisfies the necessary conditions.

If you need to amend your claim for Course Fees Relief, you can file an amendment through the “Object to Assessment” digital service on myTax Portal within 30 days of receiving your tax bill. Alternatively, you can send an email to IRAS with the following information: the details of your claim or revision for the relief, the amount of relief you are claiming or revising, the name of the institution/school and course attended, the dates of payment for the course fees, the amount of course fees paid on each date, and confirmation that you have met the qualifying conditions.


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