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Step-By-Step Guide To Filing Your Personal Income Tax In 2019

If you’re reading this and have not filed your taxes, open your calendar, and ensure you block out time to file your taxes. You have exactly one month to do so.

If you’re reading this and have not filed your taxes for the Year of Assessment of 2019 (YA2019), open your calendar, and ensure you block out time to file your taxes.

For YA2019, the deadline for filing are as follows:

15 April 2019 (for paper filing)
18 April 2019 (for e-filing)

Don’t procrastinate. Late filing (or non-filing) carry penalties that include an increased tax bill and a court summon.

Read Also: Here’s What Happens If You Don’t File Your Taxes On Time In Singapore

Over the years, IRAS made vast improvements to the tax filing process and the user interface of the online tax portal. Today, if you have all your documents in order, tax filing can be done in minutes.

But for those who are new to filing tax or if you want a guided walkthrough of the entire process DollarsAndSense has put together this guide to help you through the process as simply as possible.

Step 1: Do You Even Need To File?

Filing your income tax returns is the annual process of declaring various forms of income and deductibles to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). Your tax bill for the year is derived from your tax returns.

If you received a notice (via letter or SMS) informing you to file your income tax: You need to file your income taxes.

If you received a No-Filing Service notice (via letter/SMS): Your tax returns have been filed automatically. You don’t have to file this year, unless you have additional income to declare or wish to claim additional reliefs or deductions. Otherwise, you can await your tax bill from IRAS and pay accordingly when it comes.

If your employer participates in the Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS): Fields in your tax returns regarding your salary will be pre-filled, but you will still need to complete the remainder of your tax return form.

If you didn’t receive anything from IRAS: You will need to file income tax returns if your total personal income (including salaries and rental income) from 1 January to 31 December 2018 is more than $22,000 or if your net business income derived from Singapore is more than $6,000.

Step 2: Prepare Your Requisite Documents

To access myTaxPortal to file your taxes, you will need your SingPass, including two-factor authentication (2FA). If you forgot your password, you can head to the nearest community centre during operating hours to reset it in person.

If you are a salaried employee of a company that isn’t under the AIS, you would have received a IR8A form from your employer.

You’ll also need records of your income for the purposes of accurately declaring it in your tax return.

In order to claim tax deductions and reliefs, you should also have on hand supporting documents.

Step 3: Begin Filing Your Tax

Visit IRAS’s myTax Portal and login using your SingPass.

Using your SingPass, login to myTaxPortal. Once you’re in, click on the Individuals tab, followed by View Filing Status. Based on your situation outlined in Step 1, you can see what your next actions should be.

Even if you are under the No-Filing Service, you should still view your returns and check for any omissions or errors. We highly recommend you do so, because there might be some deductions and reliefs you are eligible for and you might not even realise it.

If you see discrepancies or have additional income or deductions to declare, click to edit your Tax Form.

Step 4: File/Check Your Returns (Form B/B1)

Here is where you can enter various forms of assessable income earned for the past year.

For most of us, our assessable income would comprise of mainly the salary received from our job. It can also include the income received from part-time or freelance jobs, or rental income from properties. Not all income earned in Singapore are considered assessable income. For example, earnings from lottery are not taxable. Neither are capital gains made from stocks or property investments.

The table below is a non-exhaustive list of what are the taxable and non-taxable items.

You can click on these links to find out more about what each item under “Other Income” mean: 1) Dividends 2) Interest 3) Rent from Property 4) Royalty 5) Charge 6) Estate/Trust Income 7) Gains or Profits of an Income Nature.

After you are done with the income section, look through the list of deductions and reliefs carefully so that you do not miss out on any ‘discounts’ on tax you are entitled to. These include NSman reliefs, Working Mother’s Child Relief, reliefs for voluntarily contributing to your CPF or Supplementary Retirement Scheme accounts.

Spouse/handicapped spouse relief: As we try to move towards an inclusive society, we are given tax deductions for a spouse who is unemployed or are fulltime house-husband/wife and handicapped partner.

Qualifying/handicapped child relief: To put it simply, our government is encouraging us to contribute to population growth using tax deductions. We will get $4,000 for being a parent to every child. Handicapped children will have more relief of $7,500.

Working mother’s child relief: Again, this is another incentive by the government for working mothers. The working mother gets 15% of earned income in tax relief for the first child, 20% additionally for the second child and 25% for subsequent children. This relief is capped at 100% of the mother’s earned income.

Other inclusive reliefs: Parent/handicapped parent, grandparent caregiver relief and handicapped siblings’ relief are all part of our government’s plan to make Singapore an inclusive society. We can get $5,500 to $14,000 for parent/handicapped parent relief, $3,000 for grandparent caregiver relief and $5,500 for each handicapped sibling in tax deductibles.

Other types of reliefs: Here we can obtain tax relief for courses that we took, maid levy relief and CPF cash top-up scheme. All of these reliefs can further reduce our taxable income.

Some of these deductions depend on actions you take from 1 January to 31 December 2018. We wrote an article previously outlining some of these steps you could take to (legally) reduce your personal tax bill. To ensure you don’t miss important articles, consider joining our DollarsAndSense Telegram Channel, where we bring you daily updates in an interactive, bite-sized format.

Just for this year (YA2019), Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that all Singaporeans will enjoy a 50% personal income tax rebate, capped at $200.

Read Also: Singapore Budget 2019: Here Are 4 Of The Most Important Announcements That Affect All Of Us

Step 4: Review Your Tax Statement and Notice Of Assessment

Once you declared that all information you provided in the tax return form is correct to the best of your knowledge, you’re done! You should see an Acknowledgement Page. Save or print it for your records.

You can double check that IRAS has received your tax returns by clicking on the Individuals tab again and then View Filing Status.

Read Also: 6 Ways To (Legally) Reduce Your Income Tax For YA 2019

# 5 What’s Next?

You’re done with filing your taxes for the Year of Assessment 2019.

All that’s left is to await your Notice of Assessment (NOA) from IRAS, which is your tax bill. You will receive your NOA between April to September 2019, which is a wider window than a newborn’s estimated delivery window. And just like receiving a newborn, you should already anticipate how much your taxes will cost you and start saving for it.

As soon as you receive your NOA, check it carefully and if there are any discrepancies, you should file an objection with IRAS within 30 days from the date on your NOA.

If everything is in order, you can pay your tax bill by a variety of methods, including:

– One-time or 12-month interest-free GIRO deductions
– Credit cards
– Internet banking bill payment/fund transfer
– AXS, SAM, ATM (DBS/POSB or OCBC only) machines
– NETS at any Singapore Post branch

While not all credit cards can be used for income tax payments, those that you can use typically exclude tax payments from earning you card rewards such as cashback, miles or points.

By using a tool like CardUp to make payment, you can get to enjoy cashback, miles or points on every dollar made to the tax authorities. CardUp allows any credit card to be used for your tax payments conveniently online, without the need to do so at AXS machines.

Read Also: Guide To Understanding Taxes In Singapore, And Who Pays For Them aims to provide interesting, bite-sized and relevant financial articles.

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