Singapore Income Tax: Dividends

Taxable dividends are accounted for in the year that they become payable, this means that it may be worthwhile to delay payments of dividends if you can defer to a tax year when you earn less from other income.

The following dividends are subject to income tax and should be declared in your income tax return in the year that they are payable:

  1. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT). This includes income from:
    1. Individuals.
    2. Partnerships in Singapore.
    3. Trade, business or professional activity with REIT.
  2. Paid by Co-operatives.
  3. Foreign sources derived by individuals through a partnership in Singapore.

Certain dividends are exempt from income tax as they are covered under other tax legislation and/or criteria, these include:

  1. Dividends under the one tier corporate system paid by a Singapore resident company on or after the 1st January 2008.
  2. Foreign sourced dividends received by a Singapore resident via a partnership in Singapore on or after 1st January 2004.
  3. REIT income distribution not covered within the taxable dividends criteria.

When dividends are paid you should receive a dividend voucher. The dividend voucher will confirm if the organization paying the dividend has provided the relevant amount and tax information to IRAS on your behalf. If the dividend voucher does not detail this information you need to declare your dividend income in your tax return. You can calculate your tax return including dividend income using the Singapore Tax Calculator.

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