Last week, it was reported that some prominent bloggers have received notice from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), requesting them to clarify their income source, which may include any products or services they receive in relation to their blogs.
Not surprisingly, this created a source of frustration and confusion, as it appears that IRAS have finally decided that it was time to take the business of blogging seriously.
Read Also: Is Blogging In Singapore A Real Job?
What Is Taxable In Singapore?
According to IRAS, all income earned in or derived from Singapore is chargeable to income tax. Income earned may come from different streams, mainly, employment (e.g. your salary and bonuses), trade, business, profession or vocation (e.g. self-employed person, businessman), property or investment (e.g. rental income) and any other income sources (e.g. annuities, royalties).
So what are some other popular part-time jobs or tasks that Singaporeans sometimes do (beside facebooking and posting selfies on Instagram) for extra income that they actually need to be paying tax on.
1. Driving Uber
When you are working as a driver for Uber, you are considered an independent contractor. That means you are responsible for your own profit and loss (i.e. if you drive around in circles and burn your fuel, that’s your own problem).
It also means that any income earned from your Uber driving is income taxable.
Uber is an interesting case because there are many Uber drivers who also have their own day job. For example, an individual who earns $30,000 per annum ($2,500 per month) in his day job would have earned enough to fall within the income taxable bracket. The additional amount earned from Uber would clearly be taxable.
It is simply a matter of whether IRAS decides to enforce strictly on this.
2. Giving Tuition
Most tutors in Singapore are part-time students who do not earn enough to warrant IRAS attention. However, regulation is clear that any income earned from giving tuition is income taxable.
For example, it was reported that a physic tutor paid a whopping income tax of $186,000 a year due to a reported income of more than $1 million.
Most of us will never see that kind of income, tuition or otherwise. But again, for those who are already having a full-time job while giving tuition for additional income, do take note that your income from tuition is taxable.
3. Selling Property & Insurance
Shirley Seng will surely know this. In case you do not know her, she is the 26-year old agent who sold a penthouse at Le Nouvel Ardmore for a record $51 million last year, and who netted a commission of about $1.5 million during the process.
Similar to property agents, insurance agents who generate their income from earned commission are also liable for income tax as well.
4. Running A Blogshop
There are many online personalities who are also blogshop “entrepreneurs” as well. These individuals leverage on their popularity to create their own fashion brand, which usually consists of nothing more than importing clothes from Thailand and Korea and selling them at a higher price in Singapore.
We got news for you. As an owner of an online business, you are required to pay income tax based on your earnings from your blogshop. If you are running it part-time (which is what most people do), the earnings you make should be added to your full-time employment salary before you are taxed.
5. Photography Work
Any photographer (professionals or otherwise) who derived an income from their photography work are liable to pay income tax on the money they earn from the copyrights. That means freelance photographers who charge for their photography work will need to declare the income to IRAS.
Read Also: 5 Ways To Reduce Your Income Tax
Bonds and Fixed Income