Simply put, Singapore’s tax revenue system comprises personal tax, corporate tax, Goods and Services tax, and property tax. In addition workers have a National Insurance deduction taken directly from their wages. This is used to fund Singapore’s public healthcare system.
Singapore does not tax residents on foreign-earned income, though foreign-sourced dividends can be taxable if received in Singapore under certain conditions. Local-source dividends are exempt from taxes as long as the company already paid the reducible 17% corporate tax. Double Taxation avoidance treaties mean that companies taxed abroad are not liable to pay tax in Singapore. The Double Taxation Avoidance (DTA) is an agreement with over 70 nations including most of the major players in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. This progressive agreement is another reason business and corporations are able to expand into Singapore.
Property tax in Singapore ranges from 2% to 20%. Singapore does not tax corporations or individuals on capital gains, unless they are in the business of trading shares. The country imposes neither wealth nor inheritance tax. In addition there is no tax on income received from overseas sources.
Stamp duties on real estate can be expensive, having been raised by the government in response to an overheating property market in 2009. Property taxes are assessed on a property’s gross annual rental value according to a progressive scale of 0% to 16% for owner-occupied dwellings, 10% to 20% for nonowner-occupied, and 10% for nonresidential properties.
Singapore’s free-port status means that few items are assessed custom duty.